Figures from the TUC are a blow to Government hopes that job losses caused by spending cuts will be replaced by new private sector jobs.
The union research shows that there were 10,000 vacancies in construction in May 2010, compared with 28,000 in April 2008 – the first month in which the UK moved into recession.
The figures make construction the hardest-hit industry and across the economy there were 492,000 job vacancies in May 2010 – a fall of 29% compared to April 2008, when there were 692,000 vacancies.
Redundancies in construction have also raced ahead of other sectors with 29,000 workers losing their jobs in the first three months of this year compared to 14,000 in the second quarter of 2008.
The analysis comes ahead of the latest unemployment statistics published today by the Office for National Statistics, which are expected to show a further rise in unemployment, as well as steep rises in long-term unemployment.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Economic recovery remains fragile. Even on the most optimistic assumptions recovery is not strong enough to generate new jobs for those being made redundant in both the private and public sectors as a result of the spending cuts.
“Employers and unions worked very hard to keep unemployment below 2.5 million despite the deepest recession for 60 years, but this will make it harder for companies to take on more jobs as the economy recovers.
“At best we can expect a jobless recovery and at worst a double-dip increase in the dole queues.”
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