Construction is a naturally volatile industry that is responsive to fluctuations in both consumer and business confidence. Sustained low economic growth typically leads to a construction recession and high economic growth leads to a rapid acceleration of construction activity.
Construction is a key part of the economy, a driver of jobs and growth. The quality of our buildings has a lasting impact on the wellbeing of individuals and communities across all regions and sectors. We recognise that the construction industry plays a unique role in economic growth and has a huge impact on both the economy and society. In 2018 the industry contributed £117 billion to the UK economy (6% of UK GDP) and influenced employment, productivity and business growth.
With a weak construction industry, we will fail to adequately reshape the country’s built environment to meet the rapidly changing challenges we face in the coming decades. But with a strong construction industry we can take advantage of the expanding opportunities to sell our expertise around the globe, while improving the lives of our citizens at home.
We recommend that policy makers look to policies that help stabilise construction activity, this could be achieved through more labour-intensive work that takes long periods to carry out (e.g. repair and maintenance) or a financial pool to provide funding for an agreed prioritised schedule of long-term projects.
We have produced several pieces of research detailing construction’s contribution at both a social and economic level to the UK economy. Our Real Face of Construction report from 2020 highlights the contribution on a regional level, as well as how the construction industry is directly and indirectly improving important societal challenges such as social mobility and productivity.
We have policy positions that cover a wide range of key issues affecting the construction industry.