Jobs in building plunge by 60pc

CONSTRUCTION in Ireland is half the size it should be for an economy of the country's size, new research has claimed.

More than 230,000 building workers have lost their jobs since the height of the property bubble five years ago.

Employment in the sector is less than 150,000 this year, a fall of 60pc from a peak of 380,000 in 2007, according to a report by DKM Economic Consultants.

The Society of Charters Surveyors in Ireland said output in the sector is to drop to 6pc of gross national product, having peaked at close to €39bn, or almost 25pc of GNP, in 2006.

Andrew Nugent, Chairman of the Quantity Surveying Professional Group of the SCSI, said there was no desire to return to the situation in 2007 when construction accounted for 25pc of national economic output.

"Ireland can sustain an industry whose output is 12pc of the economy, and it is important we put measures in place to put the industry and the economy back on track," he said.

The report identified the emerging green sector, the energy sector and retrofitting of homes as the most likely sources of growth.