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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: August 2015

News and Views | 12th August 2015

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 the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

One quick glance at this month’s earnings, and the message is clear:  Summer is here, bringing with it significant increases in earnings compared to three months ago.  In the South-East, North-East and the Midlands, the rise is 6%, and slightly less in the North-West.  Even this month’s ‘poor relations’ in the South-West are 3% better off.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments:  “Average weekly earnings in the South-East are now over £750, with individual trades such as electricians and plumbers approaching £900 a week.  Elsewhere, all are on at least £650.  The only statistic that really goes against the trend is in the South-West, where the average bricklayer earned £480, which is about £25 less than three months ago.”

Overall, only 19 of the 85 trade sectors split across the five Hudson Contract regions, are at a lower level of earnings than three months ago – unsurprisingly the majority of these are in the South-West.

Winners:

  • Insulation in the Midlands: +20%
  • Bricklayers in the Midlands: +19%
  • Plasterers in the South-West: +19%

Losers

  • Specialist trades in the South-West: -13%
  • Steel & timber frame erectors in the North-West: -13%
  • Scaffolders in the North-West: -12%

Interestingly – and unusually –  Hudson Contract’s upbeat mood is not reflected in the latest Markit/CIPS survey, which reported a slight slowdown in output in July, with both housebuilding and civil engineering losing momentum.

Ian Anfield observes:  “There’s also the new quarterly Construction Trade survey, which reports that labour costs are rising in the face of the continuing skills shortage, with 50% of participants saying they’ve found it particularly hard to recruit  carpenters, plasterers and bricklayers.

“Meanwhile, the materials shortage is easing, not least because brick producers upped their output by seven per cent during the first six months of the year.  This equates to about one billion bricks.  Once they find their way onto sites around the country, freelance brickies will be spoiled for choice!”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago %change
Bricklaying  £     679.06  £      605.24 12.20%
Civil Engineering  £     688.07  £      638.89 7.70%
Demolition  £     493.09  £      418.17 17.92%
Electrical  £     683.34  £      616.92 10.77%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     825.97  £      754.54 9.47%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     767.43  £      725.52 5.78%
General Construction  £     741.72  £      684.87 8.30%
Insulation  £     654.27  £      641.65 1.97%
Joinery  £     749.28  £      658.57 13.77%
Mechanical  £     760.48  £      668.50 13.76%
Plastering  £     697.48  £      746.98 -6.63%
Plumbing  £     571.47  £      569.25 0.39%
Roofing  £     625.33  £      641.02 -2.45%
Scaffolding  £     528.52  £      520.00 1.64%
Shopfitting  £     758.33  £      677.69 11.90%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     760.92  £      775.44 -1.87%
Surfacing contractors  £     741.68  £      705.65 5.11%
Average  £     689.79  £      649.94 6.13%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago %change
Bricklaying  £      663.16  £       586.81 13.01%
Civil Engineering  £      643.59  £       579.31 11.10%
Demolition  £      786.64  £       681.87 15.37%
Electrical  £      852.37  £       754.03 13.04%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      713.55  £       622.70 14.59%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      721.11  £       604.48 19.29%
General Construction  £      707.97  £       726.45 -2.54%
Insulation  £      710.16  £       689.10 3.06%
Joinery  £      768.32  £       703.05 9.28%
Mechanical  £      547.80  £       542.13 1.05%
Plastering  £      455.14  £       467.95 -2.74%
Plumbing  £      543.03  £       477.15 13.81%
Roofing  £      838.37  £       774.38 8.26%
Scaffolding  £      446.02  £       506.10 -11.87%
Shopfitting  £      836.79  £       874.02 -4.26%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      652.03  £       749.02 -12.95%
Surfacing contractors  £      623.17  £       603.05 3.34%
Average  £      677.01  £       643.62 5.19%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago %change
Bricklaying  £     738.59  £      618.20 19.47%
Civil Engineering  £     765.31  £      701.46 9.10%
Demolition  £     781.07  £      742.88 5.14%
Electrical  £     723.94  £      648.80 11.58%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     724.09  £      683.31 5.97%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     855.83  £      837.48 2.19%
General Construction  £     727.09  £      663.76 9.54%
Insulation  £     696.03  £      579.95 20.02%
Joinery  £     762.07  £      755.17 0.91%
Mechanical  £     727.03  £      696.32 4.41%
Plastering  £     703.42  £      628.33 11.95%
Plumbing  £     729.43  £      770.13 -5.28%
Roofing  £     619.47  £      659.62 -6.09%
Scaffolding  £     645.22  £      590.42 9.28%
Shopfitting  £     901.32  £      861.22 4.66%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     568.34  £      625.75 -9.17%
Surfacing contractors  £     863.28  £      772.09 11.81%
Average  £     737.15  £      696.17 5.89%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago %change
Bricklaying  £      681.34  £       645.95 5.48%
Civil Engineering  £      736.81  £       666.37 10.57%
Demolition  £      651.28  £       593.97 9.65%
Electrical  £      895.07  £       843.30 6.14%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      818.49  £       794.49 3.02%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      653.98  £       665.11 -1.67%
General Construction  £      718.22  £       661.55 8.57%
Insulation  £      826.68  £       749.58 10.29%
Joinery  £      843.33  £       813.06 3.72%
Mechanical  £      831.63  £       700.26 18.76%
Plastering  £      676.41  £       616.61 9.70%
Plumbing  £      891.88  £       849.72 4.96%
Roofing  £      695.78  £       610.31 14.00%
Scaffolding  £      753.11  £       700.61 7.49%
Shopfitting  £      826.22  £       862.98 -4.26%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      651.31  £       647.87 0.53%
Surfacing contractors  £      650.30  £       628.20 3.52%
Average  £      753.05  £       708.82 6.24%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago %change
Bricklaying  £      478.00  £       505.72 -5.48%
Civil Engineering  £      656.75  £       617.35 6.38%
Demolition  £      631.11  £       591.11 6.77%
Electrical  £      664.21  £       678.06 -2.04%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      595.08  £       563.19 5.66%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      678.54  £       779.71 -12.98%
General Construction  £      617.13  £       583.16 5.83%
Insulation  £      652.91  £       641.92 1.71%
Joinery  £      806.85  £       752.47 7.23%
Mechanical  £      735.01  £       630.43 16.59%
Plastering  £      733.78  £       614.97 19.32%
Plumbing  £      698.22  £       633.90 10.15%
Roofing  £      696.80  £       718.57 -3.03%
Scaffolding  £      597.37  £       662.38 -9.81%
Shopfitting  £      760.34  £       839.37 -9.42%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      692.56  £       594.02 16.59%
Surfacing contractors  £      599.51  £       555.71 7.88%
Average  £      664.36  £       644.83 3.03%

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 July 2015.

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