General Election dents employment growth in UK construction

Uncertainty surrounding the General Election is negatively affecting employment within the construction, according to business leaders in the South West.

Gary Higgins and Ben Milsom, who are both directors at GBRS Recruitment, say they have seen a slowdown in the number of house-builders, commercial builders and civil engineers recruiting new staff.

The claim was made after GBRS hired an independent market research firm to carry out a report into employment intentions and track growth and performance across the construction industry. Its findings echo those of the most recent PMI from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), which suggested the sector had ‘lost some of its swagger’ in March 2015.

Mr. Higgins said: “We’re at the coalface when it comes to the construction industry as we are a major supplier of labour to firms operating in this sector. Whilst not dramatic, we have noticed a slight dip in hiring intentions and a slowdown in the number of new homes being built; and from feedback we are putting this down to some clients delaying investment and build decisions until after the election.”

However, GBRS do not believe that this consequence of May 7’s vote will have a long-term effect. Mr. Milsom added: “Despite this slight dip in employment and growth, our recent survey shows that companies are buoyant going forward and confidence amongst UK builders and construction companies is high. Post-election, unless a disaster ensues, we anticipate a return to normality.”

This statement disagrees with recent forecasts from the Construction Products Association (CPA), which says the industry is due to experience a continuing slowing in growth over the next two years as a result of the General Election.

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