The construction industry plays a significant role to the economy of Hong Kong not only in terms of output but also the employment. The sector, however, has been severely hit by the economic downturn in recent years resulting in serious unemployment. Employment planning becomes one of the critical aspects for the recovery of the economy. The main objective of this paper is to establish a labour demand model for the Hong Kong construction industry. The unique characteristics and the current conditions of the construction labour market are reviewed. Regression analysis based on 123 construction projects was used to compute the relationship between expenditure and site workers employed. The best predictor of average labour demand of construction projects in Hong Kong is found to be DL = 463 C 0.934 , where DL is the actual labour demand in man-days, C is the final cost of contract in millions. The labour demand-cost relationship can be applied as a manpower forecasting model to estimate the total labour required for a given type of project. The developed model enables a more reliable and accurate planning of manpower requirements in the construction industry.
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