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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: August 2019

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.

Subbies’ earnings dipped by an average of £16 a week during August.  “It’s no big surprise,” says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “To an extent it’s the general holiday effect, while the continued political uncertainty means there’s less work across the construction industry as a whole. 

“Nevertheless, demand for skilled, self-employed trades remains strong with earnings 2.2% higher than they were this time last year.”

Nationally, the North-East bucked the trend with a rise of 1.3%, while Wales saw the biggest fall with rates down 3.7%, which translates as £30 a week.

National Weekly Average Earnings August 2019: £904
Region August 2019 Average Change from July 2019
North East £788.00 +1.3%
North West £860.00 -1.4%
Yorkshire & Humber £849.00 -2.1%
East Midlands £931.00 -1.3%
West Midlands £965.00 -1.8%
Wales £787.00 -3.7%
East of England £937.00 -1.2%
London £892.00 -2.8%
South East £901.00 -2.4%
South West £813.00 +0.5%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

This month’s winners:

  • Steel & Timber Frame Erection: +4.9%
    Going strong in the East of England
  • Insulation:  +4.4%
    Feeling the heat in the South-East
  • Equipment & Operator Hire:  +2.7%
    Moving ground in Yorkshire and the Humber

And the losers:

  • Bricklaying: -4.4%
    The industry barometer reverses direction
  • Electrical:  -3.0%
    Lights out in the North East
  • General Construction:  -2.8%
    The annual holiday effect

This month’s national IHS Markit survey reports the sharpest decline in new work for over ten years – since March 2009 – due to the lack of a resolution to Brexit, and a month-by-month decline in client spending stretching back to April.  Commercial work continues to be the worst-performing sector, followed by civils, with house building falling only slightly.

Ian Anfield observes:  “Businesses are crying out for Brexit to be settled one way or another.  Only when that is done will we be able to get on with delivering the housing and infrastructure that Britain needs.

“Underlying demand for new roads, railways, and homes remains.  And our subbies’ consistently high earning power demonstrates that skilled tradesmen are continuing to command premium rates for their work.”

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 2019.

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