Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2021

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2021

20th May 2021 | Hudson Contract

Average costs for engaging tradespeople have risen by nearly 20 per cent since the first lockdown a year ago.


That’s according to our latest pay trends data which shows average weekly earnings of £878 during April, an increase of 19.6 per cent compared to April 2020.

Hudson Contract is the largest engager of self-employed construction tradespeople in the UK, supplying to more than 2,500 construction companies across England and Wales.

This gives us a unique insight into demand for labour in the construction industry.

The increase in labour costs highlights the pressure on the supply chain as the UK economy bounces back from the pandemic.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “The housing market is in a state of frenzy with mortgage lending rising to record levels, homeowners are spending cash piles built up during lockdowns on renovation and remodelling work and the government is proceeding with mega-projects and shovel-ready schemes to ‘build back better’

“The UK economy is roaring so the challenge now is for the construction industry to keep pace whilst dealing with spikes in demand for skilled labour and materials.

“Clients are now telling us the materials crisis is outstripping the skills shortage as the main threat to their growth prospects and the main cause of inflation in construction costs.”

All regions in England have seen double-digit earnings growth year on year with the South West (+29.1 per cent), the North East (+27 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (+26.9 per cent) leading the way.

Region April 2021 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £734 -6.9% 27.0% 
North West £862 -4.3% 22.4% 
Yorkshire & Humber £817 -4.9% 26.9% 
East Midlands £938 -3.1% 16.1% 
West Midlands £889 -4.1% 19.5% 
Wales £863 3.6% 22.4% 
East of England £952 -6.3% 17.2% 
London £847 -6.7% 4.7% 
South East £917 -5.5% 18.6% 
South West £847 -4.4% 29.1% 

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Mr Anfield added: “Month on month, earnings slipped by 4.6 per cent, as expected due to the Easter bank holidays, but it’s the year-on-year rates that paint the full picture.”

Hudson delivers the most accurate indication of subcontractor pay trends across the construction industry, publishing the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades split across 10 regions in England and Wales.

The company supplies statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with real-time insights on demand for skilled labour.

Hudson Contract’s ‘Window on the Construction Industry’ gives you hard figures and data that is not available from any other source, with pay averages that reflect the amounts paid by a sample number of businesses – large and small – to specific trades during 2021.

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