Freelance Builder Pay Trends: December 2021

Self-employed tradespeople commanding record rates for their skilled labour

Self-employed tradespeople are commanding record rates for their skilled services. That’s according to our payroll – the biggest in the UK construction industry.

Average weekly earnings rose by 1.6 per cent to £959 during last month, the highest December pay levels on record and 5.2 per cent higher than the same period last year. Subcontractors enjoyed their biggest-ever December pay packets in the East Midlands (£1,053), the East of England (£1,024), London (£1,016) and the South East (£1,025).

 

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “We capped off 2021 with all-time highs in subbie earnings with the best-performing regions being more than 10 per cent up on December 2020.”

He added: “As we have seen year after year, we usually see earnings fall back in January because people work fewer hours. This is because colder temperatures make the wet trades more difficult – though this year seems mild by comparison – and we have the added complication of Covid and materials shortages slowing things down instead.

“From February on we would expect a steady rise in earnings to reach December levels by April. Before Christmas people were doing more hours and commanding the highest rates that self-employed trades have ever been able to charge but with all the other factors it is difficult to predict what 2022 holds.”

Region December 2021 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £744 -1.7% -11.2% 
North West £902 3.8% -1.1% 
Yorkshire & Humber £884 -1.7% 4.4% 
East Midlands £1053 4.7% 11.3% 
West Midlands £945 -3.5% 8.1% 
Wales £945 -2.4% 8.6% 
East of England £1024 3.5% 4.0% 
London £1016 5.6% 12.5% 
South East £1025 3.3% 6.1% 
South West £921 -0.1% 2.6% 

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

December was a particularly good month for steel and time frame contractors, who enjoyed record earnings at £1,035 per week.

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indication of subcontractor pay trends across the construction industry, publishing the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades split across 10 regions in England and Wales. We regularly supply statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with real-time insights on demand for skilled labour.

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 2021.

Sign up for our newsletter

Latest news, views and statistics delivered direct to your inbox

Please select the subjects you are interested in:

Request a callback today!

Fill in your details and a member of our team will call you back as soon as possible.