Construction on the up, but skills gap widening, says index
Construction firms continued to recruit staff at a fast pace in December, as the sector’s growth remained robust.
The latest construction purchasing managers’ index compiled by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) shows that robust output growth was witnessed as 2014 drew to a close. A score of 57.6 was achieved, with any reading higher than 50 representing growth rather than a contraction in activity. However, improving employment trends have raised concerns about the impact which skills shortages could have on the wider industry.
Over the course of December, the availability of sub-contractors decreased sharply, while their pay levels grew at the second-quickest rate since 1997.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said the building industry continues to perform well, thanks to decent activity levels in the home construction sub-sector.
He said: “Over the course of 2014, UK construction firms recorded the strongest calendar year of residential building since the survey began in 1997.
“A sharp recovery in house-building, as well as resurgent demand for commercial development projects, continued to boost staff recruitment and sub-contractor pay rates across the construction sector in December.”