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Thousands of Cyprus construction jobs lost

According to the president of the Cyprus Contractors Federation more than ten thousand construction workers have lost their jobs and the industry’s productivity dropped by 9 percent last year.

unemployed construction workers AT LEAST 10,000 workers have lost their jobs in light of the blow to the construction industry from the financial crisis. Of these 10,000 around 3,600 were builders, Sotos Lois, president of the Federation of Building Contractors Associations of Cyprus, said yesterday.

Lois said the remaining number made redundant were workers with professions connected to the industry and moreover the construction industry’s productivity had dropped 8% – 9% last year.

Lois was speaking at a news conference ahead of the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) three-day congress in Limassol. The congress, which includes representatives from FIEC member countries, started yesterday and concludes tomorrow.

Referring to reports that cement producers were threatening to strike, Lois, of Lois Builders Ltd based in Nicosia, said such a move would only injure the industry further and expressed the hope that this could be avoided with the Federation’s intervention.

According to the organisation’s annual statistics, a 7.5% reduction in construction works was recorded in 2009 and a further 3.7% drop was forecast for 2010, he said. The largest reduction was in the construction of new builds by 15.6% while private projects had recorded a 10.8% drop.

Although European and international rescue packages had reduced the negative trend to some degree, they had been insufficient because in some cases they had only offered short-term solutions, in others their implementation had come too late and in others they had been cancelled altogether, said Dirk Cordeel, president of the FIEC.

He said the national economies of central and eastern European countries had proved more stable in dealing with the crisis compared to western countries.

Serious consequences had also been recorded in workers in the construction industry. Specifically there had been an 8.3% drop in 2009 and in 2010 this percentage was expected to increase significantly.

Despite the pessimistic data, Cordeel said the construction industry remained one of the two largest development steamrollers in Europe because it made up 10% of the member states GDP and represented three million companies, the majority of which were small to medium size businesses and which employed 15 million workers, without taking into account the indirect employment of workers from relevant areas.

Thousands of jobs lost in construction

Readers' comments

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  • Curmudgeon says:

    I don’t wish unemployment on anybody, I had a taste of that in 1992 when the aircraft industry went into a dive. Having said that, it forced me to look at other industries and disciplines that I could apply my skills to and I never looked back.

    If these people that are out on the street are truly skilled tradesmen there are opportunities in providing quality maintenance on older properties. Of recent my neighbouring complex got quotes for an external repaint as the complex is showing signs of weathering where the rain runs off from gullies, nothing serious, just needs sprucing up. There are quantity eight town houses in the block and the lowest quote was €60,000! To put a gauge on that a close neighbour, a retired quantity surveyor, said it should cost no more than €26,000 using quality branded products – that included scaffolding!

    The Cypriots haven’t learnt any lessons whatsoever from the downturn. They still think it’s a gravy train out there. Just when will they wake up, how can we get the message across, more importantly who do we give the message to?

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