New figures have shown that more than 230,000 building workers have lost their jobs since the height of the construction and property boom five years ago.
A new report by DKM Economic Consultants has shown that employment in the industry has now fallen below 150,000 – down 60% from a peak of 380,000 in 2007.
The report, produced for the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, states that the value of the industry has fallen to €7.5 billion this year from €39 billion.
Companies are now said to be bidding for building contracts at a level last seen in 1999.
It was also noted that while labour and other costs have fallen, the wholesale cost of materials has been increasing.
Meanwhile, it was predicted that the number of new homes set to be built in the Republic this year will hit an all-time low of 5,000, which is one for every 1,000 people. In the 1990s this figure stood at eight per thousand while it hit 15 per thousand in the last decade.
The report predicts that there will be no real growth in the industry until 2014 at least.