Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2024

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2024

15th March 2024 | Hudson Contract

Hudson sees more subbies on site as labour rates creep up.

Labour rates on building sites last month moved closer to the all-time high seen at the end of 2023, according to the biggest payroll in the construction industry.

Our analysis shows average earnings for self-employed tradespeople increased to £1,017 per week during February, almost the same as the December peak of £1,044. This followed the usual poor month of January when earnings dipped due to bad weather and some sites being slow to reopen after Christmas.

Average earnings in February were 2.3 per cent higher than the same month in 2023, highlighting resilience in demand for highly skilled subcontractors even in what has been a sluggish market.

Hudson Contract’s managing director Ian Anfield said: “It’s definitely been a tough time for the new build housing sector and it’s very early days but it feels like things could be turning round after a downturn caused by inflation and high interest rates.

“We have seen a slight improvement in per-client operative numbers and labour rates have continued to creep up.

“Clients are telling us that work on high-rise schemes in London and major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield is forging ahead.

“Others are spreading their reach into new counties and taking on new clients to maintain their turnovers and avoid the impact of the major housebuilders slowing production.”

Looking month to month, all regions were in positive territory in February with freelancers in Wales enjoying record high earnings of £1,103 per week.

Mechanical and electrical (21 per cent), plumbing (20.7 per cent) and surfacing contractors (18 per cent) stood out for the strongest growth in February.

Our company is the UK’s largest provider of tax status and employment contract services to the construction industry with annual revenues of £2 billion and a client base of 2,600 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 help keep policymakers updated with insights on demand for skilled labour.

Region February 2024 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £793 6% 3.7%
North West £978 11.8% 2.4%
Yorkshire & Humber £968 13.9% 1.1%
East Midlands £1,054 16.1% -1.4%
West Midlands £976 12.4% 0.3%
Wales £1,103 8.9% 13.1%
East of England £1,098 12.4% -0.7%
London £1,094 12.7% 8.6%
South East £1,047 12.9% 3.7%
South West £976 9.4% -0.1%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

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