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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: December 2016

News and Views | 16th January 2017

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.

Last year ended on a high note, with significant earnings increases across the entire country – including a massive monthly rise of 8% in the South-West. The North-East and North-West, at 4.67% and 3.94% respectively, also approached Christmas with something to celebrate. And nationally, the average increase worked out at an extra £19 a week.

“The construction industry went into a pre-Christmas frenzy, as is often the case,’ says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield. “The pressure was on to get projects finished ahead of the holidays. Thanks to the availability of flexible freelance labour, tight deadlines were met. And freelancers enjoyed a holiday earnings bump as a result of the extra hours they willingly put in.”

National Weekly Average Earnings December 2016: £858

Region December 2016 Average Change from November 2016
North East £749.00 +4.67%
North West £787.00 +3.94%
Yorkshire & Humber £790.00 +0.89%
East Midlands £883.00 +2.04%
West Midlands £883.00 +3.74%
Wales £824.00 +0.36%
East of England £936.00 +2.24%
London £859.00 +0.35%
South East £861.00 +0.58%
South West £835.00 +8.26%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Ian Anfield continues, “Looking back over the past twelve months, Brexit and all, the average freelance builder earned £30 a week more last month than in December 2015.  After a year of complex uncertainties, that’s not so bad.  And the highest earners of all?  Not, as you might have expected, in London, but in the East of England, where rates have stayed over £900 for the past twelve weeks, peaking in December at £936.”

Individual Trades:  Winners and Losers:

Nationally this month’s winners are:

  • Surfacing Contractors:  +4.7%
    South-East and London leading the way
  • Roofing+3.8%
    London with cash to save for a rainy day
  • Plastering+3.6%
    West is best!  West Midlands and South-West show the biggest gains

Only two of our seventeen trades had a Scrooge-like end of the year:

  • Insulation:  -3.9%
  • Electricians:  -2.2%

Looking nationally, the latest Markit/CIPS survey reflects the Hudson Contract trend.  Activity grew at its fastest rate in nine months, thanks to an increase in housebuilding and cementing four months of consecutive growth.  “Also growing fast is the cost of materials,” Ian Anfield adds.  “Prices are going up faster than at any time in the past five years.  The feeling is that many firms are stocking up to beat further increases in the months to come.”

Take a look at Ian Anfield’s view for 2017 here

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 December 2016.

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