Greece: 50% of builders lost jobs since 2008

37 construction companies closed this year alone

05 November, 14:45

Builders participate in a demonstration in Athens [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20091217 ] Builders participate in a demonstration in Athens [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20091217 ]

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, NOVEMBER 5 - Half of all workers employed in Greece's 370,000 strong construction sector have lost their jobs since the crisis first began to bite in 2008, according to a report by the Greek Association of Entrepreneurs (SATE). At least 37 construction companies have closed. And the hardest hit sector of Greece's economy registered an 18.6% dip on second quarter figures compared to the same period last year.

According to the findings, 185,300 construction workers lost their jobs during the four year period, which registered constant decline. The closure of construction companies is partly to blame. Since 2004 when momentum connected to the Athens Olympics Stadium slowed to a halt, 180 construction companies, or 25% of the industry, closed their doors. In comparison a third of manufacturing jobs have been lost and a fifth in wholesale and retail.

Remaining construction companies are struggling to survive.

40.2% of medium level businesses in Greece recorded losses in 2011 compared to 27.2% in 2010. And of the construction companies who have so far weathered the storm, 18.7% of them are virtually inactive due to lack of work.

The SATE report points to a lack of available funds for public investment, with a 46% dip in capital since 2009. This year's 5.2 billion euro allocation is the lowest in 15 years. In comparison, investment funds totaled 9.6 billion euros in 2009 and 6.6 billion last year. Consequently, in the second quarter of this year the construction sector productivity index nudged 29.8%, its lowest point since 2000.

On a more positive note the report notes a 42.1% increase in the number of new tenders for projects with a budget of less than 2 million euro: in the first half of this year 206 of these projects were awarded for a total value of 1.96 billion euro. In comparison 145 projects with a combined value of 1.49 billion euro were allocated in the first half of last year.

But the good news is unlikely to kickstart the industry anytime soon. Contracts can take months to be finalized and construction companies face inevitable delays. (ANSAMed)

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