A 'ruly devastating' jobs cull is expected among small to medium-sized builders in the first half of the year as work in the housing sector continues to shrink.

About half of the members of the Federation of Master Builders said they had made people redundant in the last three months of 2008, and about half planned to do so in the first half of 2009. According to the FMB, this could be about 90,000 job losses across small to medium-sized businesses.

Builders have seen their workloads disappear in the housing downturn, with little sign that government efforts to stimulate the housing market are boosting demand for new homes.

Financial Times, The Times