Percentage of women in construction hits new post-Covid low

More women than men have left construction careers over the past year, according to the latest official figures.

The proportion of women in construction careers has steadily declined over the past year, leading an overall downward trend in the number of people employed in the sector, as recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The gender ratio of 13.6 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 hit a low not seen since the Covid pandemic. The last time women made up fewer than 14 per cent of construction workers was in the last three months of 2020.

In the year leading up to lockdown in March 2020, the percentage of women in construction averaged around 12.6 per cent.

Both the absolutive and relative number of women employed in construction peaked between April and June 2023, with 341,000 women representing 15.8 per cent of the workforce. Both are now in decline.

The overall number of construction workers has also declined slightly. In Q1 this year there were 2.08 million people employed in construction, around 39,000 fewer than in the three months before. The figures represent the low point of a fall from 2.43 million for the same period five years ago.

More people have been leaving construction jobs than starting during that time. Numbers recovered slightly during the pandemic, to 2.21 million in April to June 2022, before dipping again.

The ONS data comes shortly after the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicted the industry would need 250,000 extra workers over the next five years to cope with major infrastructure and regeneration projects.

Construction output is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent year on year, driven by growing demand in housing, infrastructure and repair and maintenance, the board said.

Article from Construction News

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