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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: August 2016

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 across five regions.

It’s a case of ‘steady as you go’ this month, with small increases in two regions – the Midlands and the South-East – pushing average earnings over the £900-a-week earnings threshold.  The rises widen the gap with other parts of the country, where freelance builders earned between £752 and £777.

Looking at the country as a whole, earnings remain pretty much the same, with a tiny decrease of 0.12%, or just under a pound, since last month’s update. The only significant decrease – of almost 3% - is in the South-West, where labour-only subbies earned less than in any month since January this year

Weekly Average Earnings, August 2016: £822.85

Regional Averages

North-East

North-West

Midlands

South-East

South-West

£752.11

£773.76

£909.58

£901.56

£777.23

So far as individual trades are concerned, top earners on over £1,300 a week are shopfitters in the Midlands and the South-West, and Midlands-based plumbers.

Looking at the bigger picture, we are seeing a gradual return of confidence

  1. New figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal an 8.2% leap in output between April and June compared to the previous three months.
  2. Likewise, the latest Markit/CIPS report shows a clear Brexit bounceback. The influential Purchasing Managers Index soars to 49.2 from last month’s 45.9, indicating a clear renewal of confidence in the construction industry as a whole.
  3. New contracts data from the Builders' Conference demonstrates the slowdown during the first three months of the year was more in anticipation of the referendum rather than its outcome.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield says, “The latest data indicates its business as usual in the wake of Brexit.  Having said that, it’s likely a climate of caution will prevail until the terms on which we leave the EU become clear.

“Construction is already feeling the impact of a skills shortage that needs to be addressed – and will become much worse unless provision is made to ensure skilled tradespeople from continental Europe are still able to work in the UK.”

This month’s key trend: Cautious Optimism, post-Brexit

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 August 2016.

NORTH-EAST August 2016
BRICKLAYING £729.01
CIVIL ENGINEERING £689.63
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £508.52
ELECTRICAL £777.33
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £877.30
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £763.47
INSULATION £695.84
JOINERY £727.48
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £918.62
PLASTERING £730.99
PLUMBING £675.29
ROOF COVERINGS £767.94
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £529.83
SHOPFITTING £915.43
SPECIALIST TRADES £917.28
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £731.54
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £830.37
REGIONAL AVERAGE £752.11

 

NORTH-WEST August 2016
BRICKLAYING £696.59
CIVIL ENGINEERING £729.94
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £807.98
ELECTRICAL £852.99
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £763.43
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £780.91
INSULATION £1,181.04
JOINERY £786.14
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £580.95
PLASTERING £550.00
PLUMBING £678.41
ROOF COVERINGS £837.04
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £551.05
SHOPFITTING £1,207.06
SPECIALIST TRADES £800.33
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £743.59
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £606.55
REGIONAL AVERAGE £773.76

 

MIDLANDS August 2016
BRICKLAYING £743.09
CIVIL ENGINEERING £818.70
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £859.00
ELECTRICAL £1,153.76
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £948.73
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £905.39
INSULATION £758.00
JOINERY £861.97
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £876.34
PLASTERING £787.85
PLUMBING £1,328.87
ROOF COVERINGS £710.01
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £726.36
SHOPFITTING £1,344.58
SPECIALIST TRADES £1,018.05
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £836.65
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £785.44
REGIONAL AVERAGE £909.58

 

SOUTH-EAST August 2016
BRICKLAYING £733.92
CIVIL ENGINEERING £765.66
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £1,037.33
ELECTRICAL £1,153.30
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £863.05
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £820.56
INSULATION £1,117.97
JOINERY £993.14
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £1,062.40
PLASTERING £884.30
PLUMBING £1,040.54
ROOF COVERINGS £715.59
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £879.39
SHOPFITTING £1,030.23
SPECIALIST TRADES £864.58
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £648.72
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £715.84
REGIONAL AVERAGE £901.56

 

SOUTH-WEST August 2016
BRICKLAYING £607.94
CIVIL ENGINEERING £702.93
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £1,235.59
ELECTRICAL £683.29
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £634.53
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £805.50
INSULATION £717.02
JOINERY £995.38
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £691.66
PLASTERING £616.03
PLUMBING £802.12
ROOF COVERINGS £675.59
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £616.60
SHOPFITTING £1,331.20
SPECIALIST TRADES £796.33
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £684.33
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £616.80
REGIONAL AVERAGE £777.23