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.
The underlying need to transform the built environment is, arguably, greater than it has been for a generation or two.The need to accommodate an older population, the need to decarbonise the economy, and the need to reconfigure the building stock to address the massive changes in working and shopping habits.
It is critical to have informed debated on how construction is fairing and how the industry can be put to work. If we will fail to understand its vital contribution and needs, then we will not be able to adequately reshape the country’s built environment to meet the rapidly changing challenges we face in the coming decades. However, 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 2023 provides a regional and national breakdown of the industry's economic contribution in addition to regional insights provided from members working on the ground.
We have policy positions that cover a wide range of key issues affecting the construction industry.