According to the monthly Markit/CIPS report, activity in the construction industry saw an increase in January.

REC Construction, the group representing recruiters working within this sector welcomed the figures and urged for the focus now to be on achieving sustainable growth.

The construction industry faced its first contraction in ten months in December 2010 with a reading of 49.1. January saw the index increasing to 53.7 and all three construction sub-sectors reporting higher activity for the first time since August.

Commenting on the figures Simon Noakes, Chair of REC Construction said:

“Following last quarter’s shock contraction, it’s a relief to see some positive figures. For the first time in six months we see growth across the board in civil engineering, commercial construction and house building. Construction firms seem to be regaining their confidence as new orders keep coming in.

“However, taking into account the volatility our sector demonstrated in December these figures should not be overestimated. There is a bounce back effect that creates momentum. If we want to turn this into long term growth for our sector, now is the time to address the real issues.

“In a heavily demand led industry like ours, the right processes should be in place to promote both entrepreneurial spirit through self-employment and a flexible workforce. In this process, our members are here to work closely with Government departments such as HMRC and HSE to ensure that our workers get the right treatment and any examples of bad practice are condemned. “