Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 2020

Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 2020

11th November 2020 | Hudson Contract

Demand for labour grows 6.6 per cent on September

Hudson Contract says it will be “business as usual” for the majority of construction clients during the second national lockdown.

Construction activity continued to expand in October, according to our monthly pay trends.

Hudson made 146,700 payments to freelance tradespeople in October, an increase of 6.6 per cent on September. 


Average earnings also increased month on month by 1.7 per cent to £890 per week.

Ian Anfield, managing director, said: “Our clients are telling us they have full order books and that demand for skilled trades continues to outstrip supply. Our clients say it will be business as usual up to Christmas in spite of the new lockdown.

“Some clients report the extension of the self-employed support scheme could encourage people to stay at home, but that the vast majority of tradespeople are working and don’t want to be sitting at home on support schemes.

“We welcome the extra clarity from ministers that construction workplaces should stay open during the next four weeks.

“They have confirmed that builders merchants and estate agents will continue to trade and tradespeople will be able to enter homes.

“There is plenty of work around. The Government has committed to a lot of infrastructure spending and new projects are being announced every day.

“Measures such as Help to Buy, the stamp duty holiday and relaxed planning laws are supporting a buoyant housebuilding sector.

“Looking to next year, the end of free movement will cause disruption but countering that is reduced demand in January and February. Construction could struggle as stimulus packages come to an end around March and April.”

The best-performing regions for earnings growth last month were the East Midlands (up 8.9 per cent), the East of England (up 4 per cent) and the North East (up 1.1 per cent).

Region October 2020 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £754 1.1% -3.2% 
North West £875 0.3% 1.5% 
Yorkshire & Humber £838 2.4% -1.4% 
East Midlands £928 8.9% -0.3% 
West Midlands £915 1.0% -6.7% 
Wales £892 1.0% 11.6% 
East of England £987 4.0% 4.4% 
London £849 -0.4% -4.4% 
South East £927 -1.8% 0.8% 
South West £850 1.7% 1.8% 

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:

Surfacing contractors +8.5%
General construction +6.1%
Mechanical and engineering +5.9%


Shop fitting -13.4%
Steel and timber frame erection -9%
Plumbing -2.5%


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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