The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the news that construction employment has risen for the second quarter in a row – the first time this has happened since construction employment reached its peak in 2007. 

The latest Quarterly National Household Survey from the CSO reveals that direct construction employment rose to 103,200 for the final quarter of 2012.  This was up from 101,100 in Q3 2012 and 99,600 in Q2 2012.  The last time construction employment rose for two quarters in a row was between Q4 2006 and Q2 2007 – when construction employment reached its peak level of 273,900.

Speaking following the publication of these statistics, CIF Director General Tom Parlon said, “This is very good news for the industry.  It illustrates a tangible improvement in the fortunes for our sector after 6 years of continuous decline.  Towards the end of last year there was a definite increase in confidence amongst our membership and this has been borne out by the latest employment statistics.

“It is fantastic to see this has translated into increased activity and more jobs for the industry.  Our membership has been talking about more tendering opportunities and this is obviously leading to solid work.  Construction jobs and the levels of activity go hand in hand.  We’ve repeatedly said that increased construction activity will lead to more work and that will help reduce the number of unemployed people in this country.

“There is still a very long way to go before the industry returns to a balanced level.  This is a small increase and it will need to be repeated many more times before we can say the sector has revived.  However it is a positive indication.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to build on this and get more of the former construction workers off the live register.  At 25% of the total unemployed, they represent the largest group on the register so a lot more employment opportunities will be needed for the sector,” Mr. Parlon concluded.