No light at the end of tunnel for construction sector

Construction has decreased over 50% in the Algarve due to the current economic crisis, which has led to an unprecedented number of unemployed workers.

The number of licensed residential homes has seen a 56% drop, which is higher than the national average of 38.1%.

Unemployment now affects nearly 7,000 workers in the region, a number which is only inferior to the jobless in the tourism sector.

Additionally, the construction trade registered a 37% drop in employment in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the previous year, according to information from the coordination and regional development commission of the Algarve (CCDR).

It was not long ago that the construction sector offered the third higgest number of jobs, employing 15 in every 100 workers. However, over the last few years it has fallen to sixth place in terms of numbers employed, representing 5.7% of the working population in the Algarve.

Last year, 156 real estate companies closed down as well as 153 related to real estate promotion and construction, also directly affected by the crisis.

Meanwhile, public construction work has practically halted due mostly to the fragile economic state of the majority of the municipalities.