Freelance Builder Pay Trends: August 2022

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: August 2022

29th September 2022 | Hudson Contract

The earnings of self-employed tradespeople have hit an all-time high with average weekly pay above £1,000 in London, the South East and East of England.

Analysis of our payroll data shows that labour rates on building sites rose by 2 per cent to £972 during August, driven by high levels of activity in the construction industry and a shortage of skilled people.

Last month’s earnings are 4.6 per cent higher than the same period in 2021.

Earnings were up across all regions in England and Wales, except for the West Midlands, and reached record highs in the East of England, the South West and the North West.

Plasterers saw the biggest increase in pay, which rose by 10.5 per cent to £927.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Earnings usually fall in August as people take well-earned holidays but this year we have seen incredibly strong demand for highly skilled self-employed tradespeople whose pay continues to outperform their employed counterparts.

“Demand is being driven by the huge amount of infrastructure work on the go and the big housebuilders, which are reporting strong forward order sales, although recent volatility in financial markets has clouded the outlook with the shares of housebuilders, landlords and building suppliers under pressure as fears grow over increases in the cost of borrowing.

“In the labour market, we are starting to see a longer-term impact of Brexit. Those subbies who returned to Europe, retired or switched industries are no longer being replaced by newcomers from the EU as the tap has been turned off.

“As highlighted recently by the CITB training body, there is a disconnect between further education colleges in the UK and the industry with only one third of people who do construction-related courses ending up in construction jobs.”

Pay Trends for August 2022

Region August 2022 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £769 4.6% -4.5%
North West £946 2.7% 10.1%
Yorkshire & Humber £934 1.3% 11.3%
East Midlands £998 4.6% -2.3%
West Midlands £956 -1.8% -0.8%
Wales £943 2.5% 1.5% 
East of England £1,054 0.9% 6.1% 
London £1,017 0.7% 10.4% 
South East £1,006 1.7% 3.7% 
South West £967 6.4% 7.8% 

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Hudson Contract is the UK’s largest provider of tax status and employment contract services to the construction industry with annual revenues approaching £1.9 billion and a client base of 2,500 construction SMEs.

We deliver 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. We also supply statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with what’s happening on building sites.