New orders for construction work, an indicator of recovery for the construction industry, in Fukushima Prefecture during 2015 totaled 811.94 billion yen, down 56.0 billion yen, or 6.5% from the previous year. It was the first decline since the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. It was blamed mainly on the fact that post-disaster reconstruction projects have peaked. On a prefectural basis, the rate of decline was the fourth largest in Japan.
Reconstruction work is expected to shrink further. The Fukushima prefectural government plans to take such measures as placing orders for new projects to ensure continued employment and nurturing human resources to maintain the level of disaster response.
The figures were based on data compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The ministry collected sample data from about 2% of contractors operating in the prefecture and, based on the data, estimated the total amount of public works, such as road and river projects, and private-sector work including housing construction.
In and after 2011, reconstruction work swelled in the wake of major disasters such as downpours in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures as well as the earthquake, boosting new construction orders in Fukushima for the fourth straight year until 2014. The 6.5% fall in 2015 was the fourth largest following 12.6% in Yamanashi Prefecture, 9.3% in Yamaguchi Prefecture and 7.4% in Oita Prefecture.
Of the 2015 total for Fukushima, the amount of new orders won by prime contractors (excluding those received by subcontractors) totaled 521.2 billion yen. Public works accounted for 294.07 billion yen, marking a hefty decrease of 109.4 billion yen, or 27.1%, from 2014.