Seventy-thousand jobs could be created if the Government signs off on more public building projects, it was claimed today.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) accepted development was inflated during the boom but said it had now dropped too low given building shortages in areas such as education.
CIF chief Tom Parlon urged the Government to boost its works programme or risk falling below targets for improving the state's infrastructure.
"The CIF's research indicates that if Ireland's construction industry could be maintained at the European average, an additional 70,000 jobs could be supported," Mr Parlon said.
"We know that construction grew too large towards the peak between 2005 and 2007 but it has now fallen well below its optimum level, particularly given that Ireland faces particular infrastructure shortages in areas such as education and is facing fines from the EU because of failures to address environmental requirements."