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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2013

News and Views | 1st February 2013

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using payroll data for over 2,000 construction companies and over 100,000 freelance builders to publish the average pay for the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

January is traditionally a slow month as life returns to normal after the Christmas and New Year break – and that’s before you factor the impact of bad weather into the equation. And this year has proved no exception to ‘the rule’ with average earnings down across all regions.

“It’s a monthly trend that’s been happening ever since we started producing our pay stats more than four years ago,” observes Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson.

Just like this time last year, the Midlands has been hardest hit, with an earnings slump of 9.15% on three months ago, closely followed by the South-West with a reduction of 8.94%. The North-East fared best, but even here, earnings dropped by more than 4%.

This month’s winning trades:

Only 19 of the total of 85 regional trade groups saw earnings increase in January, notably:

  • Plasterers in the North-West:  +22%
  • Electricians in the South-West:  +17%
  • Shopfitters in the North-East:  +15%

This month’s losing trades:

  • Roofers in the South-West:  -22%
  • Bricklayers in the Midlands:  -22%
  • Scaffolders in the South-West:  -21%

David Jackson adds: "I’m not surprised the outside trades were amongst the biggest losers this month. The weather in the last two weeks of January had a huge impact, not only on the ability to work, but also the ability to get to work in the first place.

"We’d seen a strong start to the month, with the number of operatives paid by Hudson Contract back up to 88% of the pre-Christmas break. But then the snow arrived, and within the space of a week, the numbers fell back by more than 12%.”

Risk management for 2013 and beyond: The Hudson Contract solution

With a new survey on business risk from insurers Zurich revealing that 37% of construction companies now feel they are at risk of going under in 2013 – up from 33% on four months ago, David Jackson adds: “The need for a flexible workforce is paramount, especially at this time of year.

“With so much downtime in January, construction companies of all shapes and sizes recognise their vulnerabilities, hence the rising levels of concern and the necessity to make businesses as lean and cost competitive as possible.

“With this in mind, we have welcomed another thirty-five new clients into the Hudson Contract family during January and they now have the peace of mind that their tax and employment liability risks have been eliminated for good.

“Now we need to hope that the weather improves in the run-up to Easter.”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £424.74 £476.17 -10.80%
Civil Engineering £545.37 £632.56 -13.78%
Demolition £352.43 £376.73 -6.45%
Electrical £704.98 £651.12 8.27%
Equipment & Operator hire £547.99 £504.81 8.55%
Fit out by specialist trades £572.50 £663.41 -13.70%
General Construction £523.32 £608.21 -13.96%
Insulation £612.79 £638.24 -3.99%
Joinery £405.46 £442.53 -8.38%
Mechanical £581.87 £593.06 -1.89%
Plastering £567.32 £546.79 3.75%
Plumbing £599.08 £687.14 -12.82%
Roofing £477.67 £537.84 -11.19%
Scaffolding £370.17 £454.58 -18.57%
Shopfitting £819.72 £715.53 14.56%
Steel & Timber frame erect £736.43 £702.99 4.76%
Surfacing contractors £605.46 £629.35 -3.80%
Average £555.72 £580.06 -4.20%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £419.42 £517.44 -18.94%
Civil Engineering £511.42 £607.71 -15.84%
Demolition £740.21 £669.77 10.52%
Electrical £687.83 £783.22 -12.18%
Equipment & Operator hire £579.50 £648.98 -10.71%
Fit out by specialist trades £700.41 £704.08 -0.52%
General Construction £550.68 £585.78 -5.99%
Insulation £580.90 £650.26 -10.67%
Joinery £577.27 £614.39 -6.04%
Mechanical £455.76 £577.51 -21.08%
Plastering £598.10 £490.00 22.06%
Plumbing £616.94 £630.58 -2.16%
Roofing £629.60 £681.27 -7.58%
Scaffolding £380.78 £436.49 -12.76%
Shopfitting £731.43 £741.84 -1.40%
Steel & Timber frame erect £639.51 £604.25 5.84%
Surfacing contractors £512.09 £593.14 -13.66%
Average £583.05 £619.81 -5.93%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £420.55 £539.97 -22.12%
Civil Engineering £600.13 £634.10 -5.36%
Demolition £475.28 £532.72 -10.78%
Electrical £599.11 £747.85 -19.89%
Equipment & Operator hire £618.56 £554.44 11.56%
Fit out by specialist trades £522.27 £559.39 -6.64%
General Construction £500.19 £585.30 -14.54%
Insulation £585.03 £652.10 -10.29%
Joinery £667.48 £639.03 4.45%
Mechanical £669.52 £753.12 -11.10%
Plastering £430.86 £487.43 -11.61%
Plumbing £536.33 £532.43 0.73%
Roofing £452.97 £524.81 -13.69%
Scaffolding £491.82 £539.09 -8.77%
Shopfitting £787.77 £986.42 -20.14%
Steel & Timber frame erect £670.47 £627.94 6.77%
Surfacing contractors £532.86 £628.26 -15.18%
Average £562.42 £619.08 -9.15%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £493.14 £534.65 -7.76%
Civil Engineering £631.80 £654.27 -3.43%
Demolition £429.77 £460.12 -6.60%
Electrical £720.51 £710.19 1.45%
Equipment & Operator hire £719.63 £692.07 3.98%
Fit out by specialist trades £583.04 £678.41 -14.06%
General Construction £576.72 £626.29 -7.91%
Insulation £677.28 £722.68 -6.28%
Joinery £633.37 £631.12 0.36%
Mechanical £607.00 £717.98 -15.46%
Plastering £526.28 £576.80 -8.76%
Plumbing £739.03 £766.51 -3.59%
Roofing £576.95 £633.82 -8.97%
Scaffolding £517.36 £614.71 -15.84%
Shopfitting £809.06 £877.56 -7.81%
Steel & Timber frame erect £593.76 £571.08 3.97%
Surfacing contractors £616.74 £553.68 11.39%
Average £614.79 £648.35 -5.18%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £408.36 £430.44 -5.13%
Civil Engineering £478.26 £541.16 -11.62%
Demolition £547.02 £604.56 -9.52%
Electrical £722.48 £617.00 17.10%
Equipment & Operator hire £467.32 £557.24 -16.14%
Fit out by specialist trades £665.57 £735.33 -9.49%
General Construction £596.09 £628.30 -5.13%
Insulation £632.84 £674.25 -6.14%
Joinery £374.39 £382.35 -2.08%
Mechanical £629.38 £581.67 8.20%
Plastering £563.06 £593.57 -5.14%
Plumbing £658.99 £794.77 -17.08%
Roofing £480.32 £619.59 -22.48%
Scaffolding £480.50 £610.98 -21.36%
Shopfitting £822.38 £990.97 -17.01%
Steel & Timber frame erect £700.91 £746.17 -6.07%
Surfacing contractors £460.63 £531.25 -13.29%
Average £569.91 £625.86 -8.94%

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 31st January 2013.

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