Scottish construction employment reaches three-year high

construction-materials stockEmployment in the Scottish construction industry closed 2016 at 181,000, an annual rise of 7% or 12,000 and the highest number employed within the sector since December 2013.

The newly updated figures have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) following separate figures released last week which showed Scottish building industry output during 2016 was £14.5 billion.

Commenting on the new figures, Scottish Building Federation managing director, Vaughan Hart, said there is reason to believe that employment in the industry can continue to increase.

He said: “Following on from last week’s Scottish construction output figures, these new figures on Scottish building employment during 2016 show a year-on-year rise of 12,000 in the number of people working within the sector.

“Although positive news for the industry, it remains the case that, during 2016, every £1 million of industry output supported 12 Scottish construction jobs. By comparison, in 2007, every £1m of Scottish construction output supported 21 jobs in the sector. This reflects a shift over time in the profile of industry output, away from housing and private commercial activity and towards major infrastructure projects, which provide comparatively fewer employment opportunities.

“With strengthening performance now being seen across housing, private commercial and repair and maintenance, there is reason to hope that industry employment should continue to rise during 2017. At the same time, with so much uncertainty about future economic prospects, we will be watching carefully to see if these positive trends continue in the months ahead.”

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