The UK construction sector has been growing faster than ever in the past three years, with new orders at a record level.
However, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that growth in the sector is slowing down.
The ONS said in a report on Wednesday that the number of construction jobs rose by just 3,500 in the last three months of the year, the lowest since the recession.
That compares with a growth of 5,600 in the previous three months, according to the ONS.
It comes after a rise in building contracts in the first three months last year, but the latest figures suggest the industry is set to fall further behind the growth rate of the past two years.
The construction sector added more than 7,000 jobs in the month ending December 2016, compared with 6,300 in the same period last year.
The ONS’ latest quarterly survey of the UK construction industry also suggests that the UK is still in the process of recovering from the financial crisis.
It found that new orders for construction rose by 1.6% in the quarter to March 2017, compared to a rise of 1.1% in April 2017.
However this is less than the growth of 2.1%, which is well below the 3.6%.
There is also evidence that demand for the construction sector is cooling, with fewer new orders recorded in the second quarter of 2017.
Construction and infrastructure, which account for roughly a third of the construction industry, are also set to see their strongest growth in a decade, according a report published by the Society of Civil Engineers (SCE).
It found that orders for building construction, the main industry in the country, have risen by more than 10,000 in the three months to March this year.
However the growth has been largely in the services sector, which grew by only 2,700 jobs, compared in the whole of last year when there were more than 20,000.
The rise in services orders, which are typically a better indicator of a firm’s ability to deliver, has seen firms in the construction and construction services sector record record a 10.4% increase in construction orders in the third quarter of this year, compared for the entire year.
Construction companies are also forecast to record an 11.6 per cent rise in construction work in the year to March.
While the latest growth in orders for the sector comes at a time of uncertainty in the market, the sector remains robust.
A recent survey of companies commissioned by the UK Government found that construction firms are likely to remain on the front foot, with firms anticipating a rise to 3.7 per cent growth this year compared with 3.5% in 2016.
The construction industry has also been growing in recent years, albeit at a much slower pace than the construction jobs that have been available.
In January 2017, the construction construction industry grew by 8.2 per cent, compared the same month in 2016, according the Construction Industry Federation.
The latest figures from the ONSC show that there are now more than 9.4 million construction jobs in England and Wales.
However that does not necessarily mean that there is a shortage of jobs.
The Office for Infrastructure and Communities, which is responsible for setting industry standards, said in its latest construction jobs report that the sector had continued to increase in the recent year, with an overall increase of 8.4 per cent.
The increase in new orders in April is also in line with the 8.5 per cent increase recorded in May, according TOI.
However it does not come as a surprise to find that there has been a fall in construction employment in recent months.
The Construction and Forestry union recently reported that its members were not seeing a return in the number and quality of construction contracts that they had been getting, in a move that is being blamed on the financial fallout of the financial crash.
In February, the government announced plans to cut back on construction contracts and instead increase the pay of the contractors and contractors themselves, with the government claiming that it would be able to “re-engineer” the industry.
The report also pointed out that there were also fears that the financial squeeze had caused construction companies to overpay contractors, which was a potential source of future underpayment of workers.