Our Real Face of Construction 2020 reveals that the economic influence of the UK construction sector is almost double that of the figures officially recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The report describes the sector’s economic reach, which officially accounts for about 6% of the economic output of the UK and provides employment for 2.3 million people. However, the narrow ONS definition of the industry ignores the work of architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors as well as manufacturers dedicated to the sector and many other firms that support construction such as builders’ merchants and plant hire providers.
In the report, we call for a better measure of the construction industry that includes all aspects of the design and construction process, not just assembly on site. The report argues that by including all aspects of the design and construction process, construction GDP could be close to double in size. Understanding this is crucial, because if policymakers and experts do not have access to the full picture then bad decisions are likely to be made.
The report also breaks down the value construction has at a regional level, exposing wide variations in regional performance and output since 2013, indicating the need for careful, integrated policymaking. It also draws on new research that gauges the public’s attitude towards the industry and their aspirations for the built environment. It suggests the industry has not reached its full potential and that it will only do so if it has a clear vision, with an understanding of different regional needs, and policymakers armed with good quality data.
To read the full report, click the download button below.