It's always been an indicator of how the economy is doing, but today builders' worst suspicions were confirmed.
The region has been through one of the biggest downturns in construction in the country.
A lack of private investment and big public projects are being blamed for another year of falling output.
But, as Dan Ashby reports, the figures show there may be signs of a recovery.
You can watch his full report below.
Construction output in the North East fell by nine per cent last year, which was one of the biggest falls in the country. However, output also dropped in Scotland and the North West.
The Construction Skills Network said the shortage of private investment continued to hit the region, but it thinks the North East will recover quicker than the rest of the country.
One roofing company in Washington says it has had to adapt to survive.
The Construction Skills Network has released figures showing that construction in the North East fell by 9% in 2012, one of the worst falls in the UK.
The network warned that the region's difficult period is likely to continue for another 10 years.