Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February

10th March 2020 | Hudson Contract

Record February for freelancers before pandemic hit economy

  • Strong earnings growth for freelancers before virus slowdown

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using monthly payroll data for more than 2,200+ construction companies to publish the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades now split across ten regions.

It might seem like a long time ago now but freelancers enjoyed the strongest February earnings on record, according to our latest figures.

Analysis of payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales shows a weekly average of £924 for tradespeople, a 0.3 per cent increase on January. This represents growth of 3.9 per cent on February 2019 and continued the strong start to 2020, as revealed in January.

The West Midlands was the best-performing region with average earnings rising by 3.7 per cent to £991.The North West also saw strong growth, with average earnings rising by 2.9 per cent to £880.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Of course, we have now entered uncharted waters with the coronavirus epidemic and are already seeing a slowdown in activity.

“Before the virus reared its ugly head, builders were benefiting from the post-election improvement in business confidence and pent-up demand for new projects.

“This was echoed by last month’s purchasing managers index which suggested a return to growth in the sector.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of the epidemic, are well prepared for the inevitable disruption and can only hope it is over quickly.”

National Weekly Average Earnings February 2020: £924
Region February 2020 Average Month on Month Change Year on Year Change
North East £766 -1.0% 0.1% 
North West £880 2.9% 12.2% 
Yorkshire & Humber £828 0.1% -1.4% 
East Midlands £950 -0.2% 4.0% 
West Midlands £991 3.7% 4.6% 
Wales £802 -2.7% -1.7% 
East of England £966 -0.2% 2.2% 
London £914 -3.7% 0.1% 
South East £932 -1.6% 6.1% 
South West £858 -0.9% 9.0% 


To view our interactive pay trends map click here

This month’s winners:

  • Steel and timber frame +14.7%
  • Demolition and wrecking +11.2%
  • Surfacing +10%

This month's losers:

  • Mechanical and engineering -13.3%
  • Plumbing -10.8%
  • Electrical -7.3%
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 2020.

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