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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2014

News and Views | 1st April 2014

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using payroll data for over 2,200 construction companies and over 125,000 freelance builders to publish the average pay for the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

It’s been a poor month for freelance builders in the North-West, with earnings down by more than four per cent on three months ago. Curiously enough, the same pattern emerged this time last year, when rates increased or remained stable everywhere except in the North-West.

Elsewhere, earnings are unchanged this month in the South-East, and up by 1.6% - 2.8% in the North-East, Midlands and South-West.

This month’s winners

  • Shopfitters in the North-East: +21%
  • Scaffolders in the North-East: +17%
  • Roofers in the Midlands: +15%

This month’s losers - all in the North-West

  • Insulation: -18%
  • Steel and Timber Frame Erectors: -17%
  • Surfacing Contractors: -13%

Looking at the bigger picture, new data from the UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index reveals a strong overall performance during March. Expectations for growth remain high and order books are filling up, with home building continuing to lead the way.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments: “Bricklaying is the barometer of our industry, and talking to clients, it is clear that both bricks and bricklayers and becoming harder to find, along with a general increase in lead time for the supply of materials, compared to just a few months ago.”

Positive growth over the past twelve months

Further evidence of construction’s sustained recovery comes when we compare this month’s Hudson Contract paystats with those from this time last year. Across all 85 regional trade sectors, the average earnings increase is nearly 7%.

This includes an increase of 4.3% year-on-year for the North-West – and looking at the year-on-year earnings, the downturn for this month’s biggest losers doesn't seem quite as bad:

Freelance builders in the North-West Mar 2013 Mar 2014 Change
Insulation £679.56 £760.74 +11.95%
Steel & Timber Frame Erectors £585.26 £576.77 -1.45%
Surfacing Contractors £647.27 £593.03 -8.38%

 

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £609.92 £574.81 6.11%
Civil Engineering £651.91 £622.79 4.68%
Demolition £438.15 £406.08 7.90%
Electrical £708.59 £774.27 -8.48%
Equipment & Operator hire £673.81 £650.29 3.62%
Fit out by specialist trades £635.78 £722.33 -11.98%
General Construction £626.18 £602.42 3.94%
Insulation £628.14 £625.68 0.39%
Joinery £663.99 £672.40 -1.25%
Mechanical £689.57 £613.82 12.34%
Plastering £757.35 £682.08 11.04%
Plumbing £617.98 £688.19 -10.20%
Roofing £557.07 £556.31 0.14%
Scaffolding £523.66 £446.52 17.28%
Shopfitting £607.23 £500.75 21.26%
Steel & Timber frame erect £593.06 £663.95 -10.68%
Surfacing contractors £549.01 £561.52 -2.23%
Average £619.49 £609.66 1.61%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £546.94 £516.70 5.85%
Civil Engineering £603.37 £590.39 2.20%
Demolition £724.21 £731.34 -0.97%
Electrical £694.79 £743.88 -6.60%
Equipment & Operator hire £671.29 £715.57 -6.19%
Fit out by specialist trades £614.51 £607.87 1.09%
General Construction £623.03 £639.56 -2.58%
Insulation £760.74 £925.80 -17.83%
Joinery £675.79 £685.51 -1.42%
Mechanical £442.52 £453.59 -2.44%
Plastering £587.61 £512.12 14.74%
Plumbing £542.14 £615.87 -11.97%
Roofing £696.69 £698.51 -0.26%
Scaffolding £478.67 £466.86 2.53%
Shopfitting £900.49 £916.24 -1.72%
Steel & Timber frame erect £576.77 £692.20 -16.68%
Surfacing contractors £593.03 £683.63 -13.25%
Average £631.33 £658.57 -4.14%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £530.13 £554.18 -4.34%
Civil Engineering £699.54 £701.88 -0.33%
Demolition £710.32 £685.94 3.55%
Electrical £651.71 £669.00 -2.58%
Equipment & Operator hire £608.28 £592.41 2.68%
Fit out by specialist trades £666.17 £657.37 1.34%
General Construction £665.16 £688.83 -3.44%
Insulation £689.66 £710.23 -2.90%
Joinery £676.86 £683.29 -0.94%
Mechanical £750.76 £723.30 3.80%
Plastering £672.91 £611.21 10.09%
Plumbing £766.20 £810.60 -5.48%
Roofing £647.11 £561.10 15.33%
Scaffolding £583.08 £580.24 0.49%
Shopfitting £689.97 £729.29 -5.39%
Steel & Timber frame erect £784.60 £723.56 8.44%
Surfacing contractors £826.89 £731.23 13.08%
Average £683.49 £671.39 1.80%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £608.82 £584.34 4.19%
Civil Engineering £678.60 £663.85 2.22%
Demolition £539.85 £566.04 -4.63%
Electrical £816.10 £839.70 -2.81%
Equipment & Operator hire £830.86 £829.14 0.21%
Fit out by specialist trades £693.34 £698.64 -0.76%
General Construction £661.78 £655.77 0.92%
Insulation £811.96 £747.29 8.65%
Joinery £747.55 £775.92 -3.66%
Mechanical £728.23 £727.96 0.04%
Plastering £570.73 £601.39 -5.10%
Plumbing £786.04 £812.72 -3.28%
Roofing £632.32 £594.33 6.39%
Scaffolding £661.03 £659.96 0.16%
Shopfitting £848.69 £829.01 2.37%
Steel & Timber frame erect £542.73 £566.74 -4.24%
Surfacing contractors £654.36 £659.44 -0.77%
Average £694.88 £694.84 0.01%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £531.83 £505.21 5.27%
Civil Engineering £599.03 £603.18 -0.69%
Demolition £642.71 £591.98 8.57%
Electrical £612.44 £616.66 -0.68%
Equipment & Operator hire £533.43 £563.01 -5.25%
Fit out by specialist trades £727.77 £746.64 -2.53%
General Construction £644.07 £598.94 7.53%
Insulation £631.17 £624.98 0.99%
Joinery £521.14 £496.46 4.97%
Mechanical £682.36 £626.15 8.98%
Plastering £568.22 £560.96 1.29%
Plumbing £657.32 £599.92 9.57%
Roofing £589.13 £520.08 13.28%
Scaffolding £562.56 £578.88 -2.82%
Shopfitting £996.49 £991.31 0.52%
Steel & Timber frame erect £709.32 £716.79 -1.04%
Surfacing contractors £569.91 £537.11 6.11%
Average £634.05 £616.37 2.87%

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 over the twelve weeks to 31st March 2014.

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