Building the way to manage our boom/bust cycle better
Nobody wants a return to the construction industry's past instability, so how should we dampen volatility in future
This year is looking like the construction industry's resurrection will fully manifest itself. It looks set to increase output by 30pc on 2016 to reach about €16bn, or around 8pc of GNP. By mid-2018, it will have hired an additional 50,000 employees at a rate of 1,000 per month since the nadir of 2013, having lost over 100,000 employees at that point.
DKM consultants estimate that the industry could grow by 9pc per year up to 2020, making it a €20bn industry employing over 200,000 people. Before any alarm bells start ringing, this would mean the industry is about 10.5pc of GNP at current levels; well below the 12-15pc range most agree is sustainable in mature economies.
These projections are based on the industry delivering the Government's targets of 25,000 housing output and €43bn in capital expenditure alone. SOLAS estimates that the industry will require 110,000 additional workers by 2020 to deliver this activity. These figures are challenging for industry and Government to achieve but are all well below 2006/7 levels.