The figures were revealed in the latest NSCC State of Trade Survey which posted its most positive reading for 14 years.
The second-quarter survey showed that 19% of specialist contractors said they are unable to bid for work due to skills shortages – well above the five-year average of 6% .
The number of specialists reporting an increase in orders in the second quarter of 2014 rose to 57% while a record 72% expect to see an increase over the next year.
Around 84% of respondents reported they are now working at over 75% capacity with 43% over 90% capacity.
Payment times speeded-up slightly during the quarter with 16% of specialists getting paid in less than 30 days – the highest result ever recorded by the survey.
The number of respondents waiting more than 60 days for payment was 14%.
NSCC Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol said: “ It’s encouraging to see the early effects of the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter with the result that more Specialist Contractors are now being paid within 30 days.
“Continuing this trend along with investing in the skills of our workforce to meet the current demand is essential if we are to sustain the growth we all want .”
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