The Northern Ireland construction industry is the most sluggish in the UK with workload declining for the 14th month in a row, according to a trade body.
The latest 'state of trade' survey from the Federation of Master Builders said trading conditions for small and medium sized building firms in Northern Ireland fell again during the second quarter of 2011 and showed the steepest decline of any UK region.
Already big name firms like the Carvill Group, Jermon Limited and McAlister Holdings have gone bust in 2011 following the collapse of the construction trade.
Ciaran Fox, manager at the Construction Employers Federation, said the worsening situation was due to to a number of factors, including reliance on the Republic's economy and an over-inflated market. He added: "Compared to Great Britain, which has seen a slight boost over the past number of months, we are not doing so well.
"We had a strong reliance on the economy in the Republic, which of course has nosedived, and we were building more houses per head of population than was happening in Great Britain," he said.
Maire Nawaz, FMB Northern Ireland director, urged the Assembly to invest in the Green New Deal, which will make existing housing stock more environmentally friendly.