The construction industry provides just 4.1% of the jobs in Northamptonshire, compared with an average of 5.2% across the East Midlands region. The sector shrunk significantly during 2012 and a lack of planned major infrastructure projects means the recovery is likely to be slow.
A Construction Skills Network report concluded the amount of new work in the East Midlands would continue to decline until 2015, before picking up gradually. However, it predicted the repair and maintenance market would return to growth in 2013. This is likely to result in a small increase in demand for skilled trades staff, such as carpenters, roofers and floorers.
Sir Robert McAlpine, one of the UK's top 25 construction companies, has its plant department in Kettering and building services specialist Briggs & Forrester is headquartered in Northampton. However, most of the local employment opportunities are either with small contractors or via specialist recruitment agencies, which supply qualified staff on a short-term basis to work on large projects.
Construction workers in Northamptonshire can expect to earn close to the national average for such jobs. Joiners and other tradesmen are usually paid in the range of £10 to £15 an hour, while annual salaries for quantity surveyors are typically around the £40,000 mark.