Construction jobs fell in the UK in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
The construction industry is one of the fastest growing in the economy.
The figures released on Thursday showed that construction jobs fell by 9,600 in the three months to April, a decline of 1.6% on the same period in the previous year.
Construction jobs in the United Kingdom were estimated at 5.9 million in 2020, up by about 6,000 over the same quarter last year.
The ONS said that while the number of new construction jobs rose by 1.5% in the quarter to March, the overall rate of job creation fell to 1.4%.
The figures are part of a wider government programme to improve the employment situation for construction workers, which was announced in June.
“The UK’s construction sector is a bright spot for the UK economy, with an estimated 2.6 million construction jobs in 2020,” a statement from the ONS read.
“This is the third consecutive quarter of job growth, which has helped lift construction’s share of the UK labour market.
The sector also saw a modest decline in construction employment between April and June.”
The ONSC said that in 2020 the construction sector added 2.1 million new construction-related jobs, which is up from 2.2 million in the same time last year, but down from 3.3 million in 2017.
The government has said that the economy needs more than two million construction workers in 2020 to meet the government’s target of creating more than 25,000 new construction roles.
The country has also struggled with its housing crisis, with the number working on houses on the list of “essential” occupations in the past 12 months falling from 4.2 to 3.8 million.
It is now set to fall to 3 million by the end of 2021, the ONSC added.
Construction is one area where there is still a lot of work to be done.
A study by the ONCS last year found that the construction industry in the country had only been able to create one-third of the employment needed by 2020.
“There is an acute shortage of skilled and experienced workers in the construction and building industry,” the ONSS said.
“We also believe that there is a lack of flexibility in the labour market to fill skills gaps in the future.”