Employee numbers in the UAE’s beleaguered construction and real estate sector have fallen up to 35% since last autumn, recruitment consultant Macdonald & Company has revealed.

Between 25-35% of jobs have been lost in the industry since the economic downturn hit last October, according to Matthew Taylor, international director at Macdonald & Company, which employs around 120 staff worldwide.

He predicted average salaries in the industry would be cut between 10-20% in 2009, as firms slash costs in the wake of the global crisis.