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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: December 2013

News and Views | 2nd December 2013

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.

Construction is leaping back to life – ending the year with its fastest level of growth for six years.

Comments Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson: “Work is definitely picking up, and the outlook is definitely optimistic. Construction is now being hailed as a driver of UK growth as we – hopefully – leave the recession behind.

“The latest statistics from Markit/Purchasing Managers’ Index show that while construction output is 13% below its peak in 2008, the expectation now is that the worst is over and that we are in the early stages of a sustainable recovery.”

Hudson Contract’s own average pay statistics sound a note of caution, however, presenting something of a mixed picture. In the Midlands, earnings have increased 2.5% compared to three months ago, and in the South-West they are up by 1.25%. But increases in the South-East and North-West, are only fractional – and the end-of-the-year trend in North-East England is down by just over 1%.

December Winners:

  • Specialist trades in the South-West: +20%
  • Plasterers in the South-West: +19%
  • Plumbers in the Midlands: +18%

And the losers:

  • Specialist trades in the North-West: -18%
  • Shopfitters in the Midlands: -16%
  • Steel and timber frame erectors in the North-East: -13%

Annual trends in weekly earnings: A mixed picture

As you’ll see from the chart below, while freelance builders in the Midlands are the biggest winners pound-for-pound, those in the South-East continue remain the UK’s highest earners.

REGION December 2012 December 2013 Difference
North-East £590 £596 +£6
North-West £612 £646 +£34
Midlands £614 £681 +£67
South-East £654 £693 +£39
South-West £609 £609 No change

David Jackson adds: “All in all, it is certainly a more positive outlook than we had twelve months ago. I sincerely hope the toughest times are now behind us, and that 2014 heralds a period of decisive growth for our industry.”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £589.58 £572.40 3.00%
Civil Engineering £608.07 £600.16 1.32%
Demolition £445.20 £436.83 1.92%
Electrical £713.93 £724.43 -1.45%
Equipment & Operator hire £587.81 £562.67 4.47%
Fit out by specialist trades £689.00 £781.85 -11.88%
General Construction £599.41 £593.34 1.02%
Insulation £647.25 £629.95 2.75%
Joinery £567.22 £557.63 1.72%
Mechanical £659.97 £691.03 -4.49%
Plastering £635.20 £614.86 3.31%
Plumbing £674.94 £601.42 12.22%
Roofing £556.22 £535.89 3.79%
Scaffolding £486.93 £488.07 -0.23%
Shopfitting £511.46 £581.64 -12.07%
Steel & Timber frame erect £635.51 £734.27 -13.45%
Surfacing contractors £531.35 £548.44 -3.12%
Average £596.41 £603.23 -1.13%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £528.57 £520.46 1.56%
Civil Engineering £597.88 £570.58 4.78%
Demolition £695.38 £723.72 -3.92%
Electrical £656.77 £746.85 -12.06%
Equipment & Operator hire £737.91 £717.63 2.83%
Fit out by specialist trades £557.42 £682.20 -18.29%
General Construction £627.22 £581.58 7.85%
Insulation £756.56 £748.26 1.11%
Joinery £654.76 £630.78 3.80%
Mechanical £470.61 £518.35 -9.21%
Plastering £562.79 £559.94 0.51%
Plumbing £624.59 £621.68 0.47%
Roofing £730.95 £668.56 9.33%
Scaffolding £434.67 £459.27 -5.36%
Shopfitting £897.13 £893.26 0.43%
Steel & Timber frame erect £738.30 £649.92 13.60%
Surfacing contractors £718.79 £676.80 6.20%
Average £646.49 £645.28 0.19%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £511.22 £519.26 -1.55%
Civil Engineering £682.16 £662.41 2.98%
Demolition £674.11 £578.39 16.55%
Electrical £670.82 £656.53 2.18%
Equipment & Operator hire £614.80 £618.68 -0.63%
Fit out by specialist trades £694.32 £654.11 6.15%
General Construction £662.45 £638.64 3.73%
Insulation £660.37 £742.16 -11.02%
Joinery £697.32 £691.13 0.90%
Mechanical £795.18 £736.46 7.97%
Plastering £683.27 £613.91 11.30%
Plumbing £883.33 £747.61 18.15%
Roofing £495.89 £480.63 3.17%
Scaffolding £571.09 £594.00 -3.86%
Shopfitting £716.62 £848.47 -15.54%
Steel & Timber frame erect £821.97 £814.63 0.90%
Surfacing contractors £756.07 £709.08 6.63%
Average £681.82 £665.06 2.52%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £559.45 £550.40 1.64%
Civil Engineering £669.10 £666.29 0.42%
Demolition £574.89 £615.08 -6.53%
Electrical £866.94 £877.76 -1.23%
Equipment & Operator hire £760.65 £764.10 -0.45%
Fit out by specialist trades £706.70 £665.73 6.15%
General Construction £634.22 £629.91 0.68%
Insulation £798.40 £756.69 5.51%
Joinery £871.47 £875.44 -0.45%
Mechanical £699.03 £717.32 -2.55%
Plastering £579.29 £643.54 -9.98%
Plumbing £754.45 £756.01 -0.21%
Roofing £536.95 £561.64 -4.40%
Scaffolding £619.25 £622.16 -0.47%
Shopfitting £911.68 £876.81 3.98%
Steel & Timber frame erect £608.19 £561.41 8.33%
Surfacing contractors £631.74 £560.61 12.69%
Average £693.08 £688.29 0.70%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £495.86 £480.67 3.16%
Civil Engineering £601.56 £569.09 5.71%
Demolition £562.76 £645.18 -12.77%
Electrical £612.69 £581.04 5.45%
Equipment & Operator hire £544.31 £571.61 -4.78%
Fit out by specialist trades £786.40 £653.38 20.36%
General Construction £607.16 £589.13 3.06%
Insulation £643.89 £627.38 2.63%
Joinery £468.57 £474.78 -1.31%
Mechanical £619.60 £583.78 6.14%
Plastering £625.73 £527.60 18.60%
Plumbing £634.01 £608.60 4.18%
Roofing £584.43 £564.70 3.49%
Scaffolding £574.11 £608.56 -5.66%
Shopfitting £838.25 £896.84 -6.53%
Steel & Timber frame erect £639.37 £731.08 -12.54%
Surfacing contractors £510.61 £508.32 0.45%
Average £608.78 £601.28 1.25%

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 30th November 2013.

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