With the UK job vacancies climbing over one million for the first time since records began, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that construction vacancies reached its highest level ever, with 37,000 listings between June and August.
The June and August figures were an increase from 35,000 vacancies and in May to July (a previous record for the industry) and a 114.7% change on year (20,000 vacancies).
Commenting on the figures, Marco Verdonkschot, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said: “Such high numbers of vacancies suggest that UK construction firms are feeling confident about their future and have sufficient work and finances to be able to increase their staff numbers.
“This is good news for unemployed construction workers, as the number of people out of work currently stands at 53,000. Hopefully they will be able to take advantage of the vacancies and get back into employment.”
Marco continued: “They may consider turning self-employed, as the latest data suggests many workers in the sector are doing just that. There was a big jump between March and June, with 28,000 new self-employed construction workers, taking the UK total to 269,000, which is the highest in a year.
“This follows the general pattern in the industry, as the total number of employees in UK construction reached 518,000 in June, which is the highest since records began in 1978.
“There is some regional variation, however, as while some areas, like London (14%) and the west Midlands (6%) saw growth, others experienced slight decreases in their staff numbers, like the east Midlands (-5%) and the north east (-2%).
“This shows that while the country appears to be heading in the right direction and recovering after a long and challenging 18 months, there is still work to be done before everyone is back to where they were before.”