News Report Highlights Construction Job Losses

The manufacturing and construction sectors have suffered the biggest loss of jobs since the eve of the recession, while finance and business services is the only sector with a bigger workforce today, according to analysis by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The TUC analysis looks at industries including construction, manufacturing, retail, hotels and restaurants, and the finance and business services sector.

The analysis finds that the types of jobs that account for over half of all youth employment – manufacturing, construction and retail, hotels and restaurants – have shed nearly a million jobs since 2007.

The number of manufacturing jobs fell by 14% between the last quarter of 2007 and the last quarter of 2011, a loss of 406,000 jobs. The construction sector had the next biggest fall losing 281,000 jobs (12% of all construction jobs).

The retail, hotel and restaurants industry has lost 221,000 jobs since the end of 2007, a fall of 3%.

Finance and business services is the only sector to have expanded since 2007, gaining 98,000 jobs (up 2%) over the last four years.

The relative health of finance and business services has helped to boost pay for workers in this industry. Wages have increased by 11.3% since 2007, compared to an increase of just 0.2% in construction and 6.7% in retail, hotel and restaurants.

However, with RPI inflation increasing by 13.5% over the same period, the wages of all workers have fallen in real terms.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “The manufacturing sector experienced heavy job losses during the recession and has failed to recover during the UK’s admittedly weak recovery. While the retail and construction sectors have gained jobs in the last 12 months, they are still a long way off their pre-recession health.”

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