Freelance Builder Pay Trends: April 2018

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.

April tends never to be a particularly profitable month for subbies and this year is no exception.  Earnings are slightly down – by an average of 2.3% or £19 a week –  due largely to the two Easter bank holidays and associated school holidays. 

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield observes:  “It’s a reminder that while freelancers can choose when to take time off, unlike their PAYE counterparts, there’s no entitlement to holiday pay.  The slight silver lining is that earnings nationally are still modestly higher than they were this time last year.”

National Weekly Average Earnings April 2018: £813
Region April 2018 Average Change from March 2018
North East £710.00 +0.70
North West £709.00 -3.81%
Yorkshire & Humber £778.00 +1.54%
East Midlands £823.00 -4.50%
West Midlands £871.00 -2.18%
Wales £731.00 -4.65%
East of England £861.00 -3.83%
London £817.00 -2.08%
South East £806.00 -2.23%
South West £748.00 +0.27%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

This month's winning trades

  • Plastering: +2.59%
    Leading the way for the second month in a row
  • Roofing: +2.22%
    Gains in the North-East
  • Scaffolding & Lifting: +0.80%
    National demand continues

And the losers:

  • Insulation: -8.78%
    Feeling the chill for the second successive month
  • Plumbing: -6.18% 
    But still above £1,000 per week on average
  • Electrical: -5.90% 
    Average weekly earnings also £1,000+

Meanwhile, the latest CIPS/IHS Markit UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index rose sharply in April to its highest level for five months, indicating renewed confidence and expansion.  House building, in particular, has rebounded to the strongest seen in the past two-and-a-half years.

“Commercial and civil engineering have also returned to modest levels of growth,” Ian Anfield adds.  “That’s encouraging, when you consider huge projects like Crossrail have come to an end and not been replaced by new work. In fact, what I think we’re seeing for the industry as a whole at the moment is a slowdown in London and the surrounding areas while the rest of the country remains strong.”

A further set of construction statistics have also been released by the Government.  These show a 2.7% contraction between January and March, reflecting the Carillion bankruptcy and the impact of the ‘Beast from the East’.

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 April 2018.

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