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The number of women working in construction and vacancies in the industry have leapt up in the last year, new government figures show.


The Labour Market Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show the number of women employed in the industry rose by 13.5 per cent to 263,000 between in the final three months of 2013 compared with the previous year. By comparison the number of men employed went up by 1.3 per cent in the same time to 1.9m.


The number of vacancies in the industry rose 43 pc between November 2013 to January 2014 compared with a year earlier to 18,000 and nearly 31 per cent in a quarter.


There was particular growth the proportion of women in the industry who are self-employed, which rose 21.7 per cent although there is still a far larger number of female employees – 222,000 – than self-employed women (32,000).


However there was a drop in the number of male employees in construction by 1.6 per cent to just over 1m.


Overall the number of people working in the industry – both employees and self-employed – rose 2.6 per cent to 2.2m with the proportion of self-employed people rising faster – by 5.8 per cent – than employees at 0.7 per cent. However the number of employees is still greater than the number of self-employed people at nearly 1.3m compared with 911,000.


Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses but including arrears rose 1.9 per cent in the year to December but still lagged behind inflation. The consumer prices index measure of inflation grew by 2 per cent in the same time, while the retail prices index, which includes housing costs, went up by 2.7 per cent.


19 February, 2014 | By Chloe Stothart


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