Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 2018

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 2018

13th November 2018 | Hudson Contract

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


We were expecting an increase in earnings this month, in the wake of the long, hot summer that prompted extra time off for so many labour-only subbies.  And we are certainly not disappointed.

Average pay has soared in all ten Hudson Contract regions, with record highs in seven parts of the country.  Our Managing Director Ian Anfield reports:  “Average weekly earnings have climbed above £900 for the first time since our current records began in October 2013.  It means the average freelancer earned £36-a-week extra compared to September.  Equally, we can see from this that everyone is pushing on in the lead-up to winter and getting projects finished by the end of December.”

National Weekly Average Earnings October 2018: £903


Region October 2018 Average Change from September 2018
North East £783.00 +1.66%
North West £813.00 +4.55%
Yorkshire & Humber £853.00 +4.34%
East Midlands £911.00 +5.16%
West Midlands £963.00 +4.15%
Wales £823.00 +1.46%
East of England £957.00 +4.18%
London £894.00 +3.24%
South East £922.00 +3.69%
South West £804.00


To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Individual Trades:  National Winners and Losers:


  • Demolition & Wrecking: +7.21%
    London and East of England smash September’s figures
  • Equipment & Operator Hire: +5.56%
    Gains in the South-West
  • Surfacing Contractors: +5.31%
    London freelancers paving the way

As for the losers, only Insulation is showing a very small downward turn this month of £2 or 0.2%

Meanwhile, the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK statistics reflect Hudson’s data, showing October was the second strongest month for growth in sixteen months, with all three sectors – house building, commercial activity and particularly civil engineering - increasing across the month.

Likewise, the latest figures from the NHBC show the number of new homes registered in the third quarter of 2018 leapt by 15% on the same period in 2017, with the highest number of registrations in over 10 years.

“That’s a great boost for everyone involved,” Ian Anfield observes.  “However, while we can approach the next two months with confidence, I’m mindful that the outlook for 2019 is already uncertain, mostly down to Brexit. 

“Some in the industry are pointing to increased competition and final client decisions being put on hold.  Then again, we are edging ever-closer to last-round Brexit negotiations, and once a clear picture finally emerges, the fear-of-the-unknown-factor will finally become irrelevant, and businesses can plan accordingly.  The one certainty at this point is that 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year.”

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 October 2018.

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