Freelance Builder Pay Trends: November 2020

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: November 2020

10th December 2020 | Hudson Contract

Earnings for self-employed tradespeople recover to pre-Covid levels

Earnings for self-employed tradespeople have recovered to pre-Covid levels, delivering a welcome boost for households this festive season.

Average weekly pay rose by 1.2 per cent during November to £901, the highest level since February.

The best-performing regions for earnings growth were the North East (up 8.4 percent), London (up 6.8 per cent) and the South West (up 5.3 per cent).

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “The recovery in earnings for self-employed tradespeople is welcome news for households in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.

“It was business as usual for most construction firms last month as they continued to operate through the lockdown.

“Skilled workers who want to work are working. Others are staying at home and claiming the government’s self-employment income support scheme.

“Most of our clients are reporting a decent amount of activity and have already secured projects for next year.

“The housebuilding sector remains buoyant with support measures due to continue into the first quarter of 2021 and the government is committed to new infrastructure spending.”

Mr Anfield added that demand for labour on building sites has flattened off at 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels.

The recovery in demand which started in the summer “reached the top of the V” in November and is now in a seasonal cycle ahead of the festive period.

Region November 2020 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £817 8.4% 5.6% 
North West £836 -4.5% -4.1% 
Yorkshire & Humber £852 1.7% 1.9% 
East Midlands £923 -0.5% -0.2% 
West Midlands £933 2.0% -4.5% 
Wales £878 -1.6% 9.1% 
East of England £984 -0.3% 2.8% 
London £907 6.8% -0.1% 
South East £928 0.1% 0.1% 
South West £895 5.3% 5.5% 

To view our interactive pay trends map click here


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. We are supplying statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with real-time insights on demand for skilled labour.

Last month’s winners:

Shop fitting +6.7%
Demolition and wrecking +5.8%
Roofing +4%


Mechanical and engineering -4.4%
Steel and timber frame erection -4.3%
Joinery -4.1%


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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