Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2024

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2024

21st May 2024 | Hudson Contract

Severe weather disrupts construction earnings, but demand for subbies remains robust.

Last month’s inclement weather led to a loss of working days on construction sites, as reported by the industry’s biggest payroll company – in line with analysts, manufacturers and official statistics. 

Hudson Contract said average weekly earnings for self-employed tradespeople declined by 7.5 per cent in April, falling to £947 from £1,024 the previous month.

The UK experienced above-average rainfall in the month with heavy rain and strong winds from storms Kathleen and Pierrick causing flooding and travel disruptions. 

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, explained: “The lower earnings are a result of fewer working hours due to inclement conditions, not a decrease in rates. We are busy setting up new clients and operatives as demand seems to be growing after a sticky time for housebuilders, and rates are holding firm.

“The decline in average earnings we observed in our payroll data is in line with official statistics showing the unusually wet weather in February and March, and as reported by others, this contributed to reduced construction output in the first quarter of the year.

“It is encouraging that demand for highly skilled self-employed tradespeople remains strong and our clients are optimistic about their future workloads.”

Mr Anfield called for more consistency in national infrastructure planning and policy, citing current and future construction mega-projects such as HS2, the Thames Tideway, Hinkley Point C, the Lower Thames Crossing, the expansion of the National Grid, and the Stonehenge Tunnel. 

He said: “After more than 30 years in the industry I get tired of reading about the so-called skills crisis, the aging workforce and the cliff edge we are hurtling towards if all of the nation’s mega-projects get off the ground. It's about time the government got its act together. We’ve had 10 construction ministers in five years, the CITB has proved itself useless, and every large infrastructure scheme seems to be on, off, and then on again. How on earth is the industry supposed to train a stable workforce under those conditions?”


Region April 2024 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £737 -9.1% -2.6%
North West £879 -10.2% -3.1%
Yorkshire & Humber £890 -10.6% -3.2%
East Midlands £1,018 -4.7% 1.0%
West Midlands £917 -8.4% 0.4%
Wales £1,029 -6.4% 5.6%
East of England £1,019 -6.2% -0.1%
London £1,009 -5.7% 3.5%
South East £981 -6.7% 3.7%
South West £919 -7.9% 6.1%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here


While average earnings declined across all regions in England and Wales compared to the previous month, the April figure showed a year-on-year increase of 0.6 per cent, suggesting an overall positive trend.

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