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While official unemployment figures indicate that 13,000 builders are now claiming benefits in Northern Ireland, the Construction Employers Federation (CEF) believes that the total number of people who have left the sector is more than double that number because many have been forced to move abroad for work or have taken up temporary jobs instead, Belfast Today reports.
CEF Managing Director, John Armstrong, said "the Construction Employers Federation continues to press the Northern Ireland Executive to make difficult decisions regarding funding for vital infrastructure projects. Every Pound spent on construction generates 2.84 Pounds in total economic activity."
"On top of that, construction is a very labour intensive industry so investment in building activity provides many jobs."
"Perhaps the most important benefit of construction activity is its legacy, the improved schools, hospitals, social housing, roads and water networks that result in improved public services."
Over the last year the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Northern Ireland has increased by 56%.