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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: December 2015

News and Views | 10th December 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.

For the second month is a row, it’s full speed ahead for freelance builder earnings. All five Hudson Contract regions are on the up, with significant increases of four per cent in the North-East and three per cent in the South-West – and the remaining regions up by between one and two per cent.

“It’s good to know work is plentiful and that earnings continue to be robust,” says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield. “But what is fascinating this month is that one particular trade is not doing so well. And that is bricklayers. Their rates are down across all regions.

“Frankly, it’s not what you might expect, especially given that the Financial Times reports this week about the growing impact of a skills shortage, with bricklayers singled out as a trade where demand exceeds supply. But the fact is, in the Midlands, earnings have fallen by as much as £90 a week, compared to three months ago, and by £70+ in the North-East and South-West. That’s serious money.

“All I can think is that back in August, the days were long and the weather was fine, whereas looking at the November Met Office figures, large swathes of the country had double the average rainfall. And now we have the devastating floods in Cumbria, with major damage to infrastructure, which will have a regional impact for many months to come.”

This month’s winners and losers…

Winners:

Scaffolders in the North-West: +19.3%

M & E in the North-East: +18.3%

Shopfitters in the South-West: +17.8%

Losers

Bricklayers in the South-West: -14.4%

Bricklayers in the Midlands: -12.6%

Equipment & Operator Hire in the North-East: -11.2%

Looking at the wider industry, the latest Markit/CIPS indicates a slowdown during November, with housebuilding, in particular, losing momentum. Nevertheless, optimism remains high, with good flow of new tenders available for 2016.

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     621.81  £      691.21 -10.04%
Civil Engineering  £     694.32  £      693.56 0.11%
Demolition  £     521.00  £      505.74 3.02%
Electrical  £     764.80  £      792.45 -3.49%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     765.54  £      862.41 -11.23%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     816.58  £      818.20 -0.20%
General Construction  £     791.50  £      748.49 5.75%
Insulation  £     678.95  £      662.49 2.48%
Joinery  £     780.18  £      706.68 10.40%
Mechanical  £     731.81  £      618.68 18.29%
Plastering  £     715.04  £      644.33 10.97%
Plumbing  £     662.44  £      599.15 10.56%
Roofing  £     669.10  £      635.00 5.37%
Scaffolding  £     527.14  £      546.34 -3.51%
Shopfitting  £     897.82  £      783.48 14.59%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     864.79  £      744.83 16.11%
Surfacing contractors  £     783.68  £      755.65 3.71%
Average  £     722.74  £      694.63

4.05%

 

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      611.97  £       647.85 -5.54%
Civil Engineering  £      647.76  £       628.40 3.08%
Demolition  £      745.59  £       767.41 -2.84%
Electrical  £      767.28  £       823.35 -6.81%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      709.88  £       744.17 -4.61%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      778.63  £       749.18 3.93%
General Construction  £      701.87  £       687.80 2.05%
Insulation  £      792.82  £       750.35 5.66%
Joinery  £      718.97  £       745.04 -3.50%
Mechanical  £      606.96  £       545.85 11.20%
Plastering  £      460.37  £       495.53 -7.10%
Plumbing  £      629.35  £       559.96 12.39%
Roofing  £      812.57  £       744.42 9.15%
Scaffolding  £      560.14  £       469.42 19.33%
Shopfitting  £      879.65  £       918.42 -4.22%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      609.21  £       598.57 1.78%
Surfacing contractors  £      569.79  £       621.14 -8.27%
Average  £      682.52  £       676.29 0.92%

 

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     618.20  £      707.01 -12.56%
Civil Engineering  £     782.37  £      768.94 1.75%
Demolition  £     825.33  £      805.35 2.48%
Electrical  £     782.47  £      716.11 9.27%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     749.46  £      751.82 -0.31%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     835.15  £      816.16 2.33%
General Construction  £     751.39  £      730.69 2.83%
Insulation  £     666.65  £      694.68 -4.03%
Joinery  £     750.92  £      741.16 1.32%
Mechanical  £     797.12  £      807.39 -1.27%
Plastering  £     763.00  £      751.90 1.48%
Plumbing  £     922.73  £      849.69 8.60%
Roofing  £     621.03  £      621.84 -0.13%
Scaffolding  £     654.41  £      618.73 5.77%
Shopfitting  £     883.78  £      873.40 1.19%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     631.91  £      573.93 10.10%
Surfacing contractors  £     839.58  £      884.15 -5.04%
Average  £     757.38  £      747.82 1.28%

 

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      668.28  £       689.63 -3.10%
Civil Engineering  £      743.21  £       724.59 2.57%
Demolition  £      697.69  £       668.69 4.34%
Electrical  £      944.22  £       937.08 0.76%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      786.93  £       835.09 -5.77%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      727.67  £       669.21 8.74%
General Construction  £      735.02  £       733.97 0.14%
Insulation  £      900.08  £       869.68 3.50%
Joinery  £      855.34  £       826.86 3.44%
Mechanical  £      881.04  £       821.71 7.22%
Plastering  £      662.08  £       665.97 -0.58%
Plumbing  £      907.15  £       877.02 3.44%
Roofing  £      666.42  £       650.30 2.48%
Scaffolding  £      777.86  £       731.84 6.29%
Shopfitting  £      943.99  £       999.99 -5.60%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      681.00  £       656.17 3.78%
Surfacing contractors  £      679.05  £       665.51 2.03%
Average  £      779.83  £       766.08 1.79%

 

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      434.20  £       507.17 -14.39%
Civil Engineering  £      675.59  £       650.18 3.91%
Demolition  £      721.16  £       618.69 16.56%
Electrical  £      680.23  £       667.56 1.90%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      612.29  £       589.30 3.90%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      757.96  £       670.34 13.07%
General Construction  £      654.20  £       644.35 1.53%
Insulation  £      659.54  £       648.35 1.73%
Joinery  £      795.57  £       842.71 -5.59%
Mechanical  £      765.52  £       731.78 4.61%
Plastering  £      617.64  £       683.76 -9.67%
Plumbing  £      646.00  £       629.20 2.67%
Roofing  £      669.42  £       681.39 -1.76%
Scaffolding  £      652.63  £       577.68 12.97%
Shopfitting  £      835.69  £       709.17 17.84%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      644.43  £       632.67 1.86%
Surfacing contractors  £      595.18  £       584.35 1.85%
Average  £      671.60  £       651.10 3.15%

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 2015.

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