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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2014

News and Views | 3rd February 2014

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 ended 2013 on a high note – with the Office for National Statistics reporting that house builders enjoyed their best year since 2007 – but can the industry sustain this growth in the months ahead?

“In the short term, perhaps not,” comments Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson. “January earnings have followed their traditional downward trend across all regions. But having said that, the largest decrease this time last year was over nine per cent, and this year’s biggest drop is three per cent, in the North-West. So the statistics aren’t looking too bad, and even though it looks as though the first part of the year will be affected by the short days and terrible weather in so many parts of the country, especially in the South-West, the industry will most likely be able to make up for lost time later in the year.

“Given the general upswing in economic confidence, driven by the surge in house prices and the assurance that interest rates will remain low for the rest of the year, everything is pointing to a more prosperous year ahead.”

Winners this month

  • Roofers in the Midlands: +19%
  • Plumbers in the South-East: +12%
  • Demolition contractors in the North-West: +8%

And the losers

  • Insulation in the North-West: -20%
  • Shopfitters in the South-West: -19%
  • Steel & Timber Frame Erectors in the South-East: -17%

Further evidence of confidence in constructions comes from the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index, which climbed to 64.6 in January – its highest level since the financial crisis in 2007.

Skilled bricklayers needed in the North

Hudson Contract Regional Account Manager Andy Simpson adds: ‘We are hearing brickwork contractors in the North of England are picking up work, and as a result bricklayers’ rates are starting to increase. That’s great news, but the downside is that there are some issues over quality of workmanship, and while there’s a definite increase in demand for labour, finding highly skilled bricklayers seems to be getting harder.

"Utility companies are also getting much busier, and BT’s One initiative to take super-fast broadband to all parts of the country, including rural areas, should help support this sector of the industry long-term."

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £548.46 £561.21 -2.27%
Civil Engineering £616.53 £626.92 -1.66%
Demolition £409.80 £412.89 -0.75%
Electrical £670.11 £770.91 -13.08%
Equipment & Operator hire £614.29 £603.56 1.78%
Fit out by specialist trades £624.99 £656.74 -4.83%
General Construction £599.94 £591.63 1.40%
Insulation £641.69 £653.22 -1.77%
Joinery £667.31 £635.27 5.04%
Mechanical £671.57 £700.48 -4.13%
Plastering £573.39 £556.64 3.01%
Plumbing £620.54 £677.77 -8.44%
Roofing £529.58 £594.85 -10.97%
Scaffolding £503.94 £488.31 3.20%
Shopfitting £570.65 £566.84 0.67%
Steel & Timber frame erect £627.17 £602.02 4.18%
Surfacing contractors £544.10 £540.29 0.71%
Average £590.24 £602.33 -2.01%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £512.20 £519.54 -1.41%
Civil Engineering £601.35 £579.75 3.73%
Demolition £743.69 £688.32 8.04%
Electrical £650.87 £631.34 3.09%
Equipment & Operator hire £641.12 £700.76 -8.51%
Fit out by specialist trades £608.54 £602.47 1.01%
General Construction £578.97 £609.84 -5.06%
Insulation £686.86 £855.38 -19.70%
Joinery £703.23 £663.79 5.94%
Mechanical £437.53 £457.03 -4.27%
Plastering £561.81 £534.35 5.14%
Plumbing £657.95 £642.95 2.33%
Roofing £695.85 £701.48 -0.80%
Scaffolding £422.45 £441.52 -4.32%
Shopfitting £835.04 £827.66 0.89%
Steel & Timber frame erect £633.82 £754.15 -15.96%
Surfacing contractors £595.92 £705.53 -15.54%
Average £621.60 £642.11 -3.19%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £507.92 £519.10 -2.15%
Civil Engineering £693.18 £675.01 2.69%
Demolition £597.03 £584.06 2.22%
Electrical £638.66 £667.44 -4.31%
Equipment & Operator hire £585.71 £637.66 -8.15%
Fit out by specialist trades £727.05 £694.47 4.69%
General Construction £657.97 £641.47 2.57%
Insulation £670.91 £697.93 -3.87%
Joinery £713.88 £730.85 -2.32%
Mechanical £716.62 £787.81 -9.04%
Plastering £633.39 £613.43 3.25%
Plumbing £702.26 £696.37 0.85%
Roofing £669.01 £564.50 18.51%
Scaffolding £565.59 £585.93 -3.47%
Shopfitting £674.43 £677.80 -0.50%
Steel & Timber frame erect £783.20 £783.31 -0.01%
Surfacing contractors £683.08 £744.87 -8.30%
Average £659.99 £664.82 -0.73%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £558.05 £573.36 -2.67%
Civil Engineering £671.37 £674.71 -0.50%
Demolition £519.04 £576.31 -9.94%
Electrical £866.72 £872.24 -0.63%
Equipment & Operator hire £789.63 £789.55 0.01%
Fit out by specialist trades £662.20 £686.55 -3.55%
General Construction £658.50 £631.01 4.36%
Insulation £751.90 £793.97 -5.30%
Joinery £689.34 £756.79 -8.91%
Mechanical £751.70 £722.95 3.98%
Plastering £585.18 £572.07 2.29%
Plumbing £797.55 £713.70 11.75%
Roofing £557.09 £566.02 -1.58%
Scaffolding £626.20 £618.11 1.31%
Shopfitting £835.81 £902.71 -7.41%
Steel & Timber frame erect £568.73 £686.66 -17.17%
Surfacing contractors £644.48 £682.55 -5.58%
Average £678.44 £695.25 -2.42%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £390.09 £447.80 -12.89%
Civil Engineering £595.99 £586.86 1.56%
Demolition £667.80 £639.72 4.39%
Electrical £628.82 £609.68 3.14%
Equipment & Operator hire £543.68 £553.53 -1.78%
Fit out by specialist trades £779.91 £726.33 7.38%
General Construction £632.02 £593.50 6.49%
Insulation £627.38 £649.21 -3.36%
Joinery £444.00 £420.21 5.66%
Mechanical £620.31 £590.93 4.97%
Plastering £597.89 £625.28 -4.38%
Plumbing £638.60 £637.91 0.11%
Roofing £565.25 £574.89 -1.68%
Scaffolding £587.33 £559.90 4.90%
Shopfitting £784.92 £963.40 -18.53%
Steel & Timber frame erect £629.89 £647.92 -2.78%
Surfacing contractors £550.94 £512.95 7.41%
Average £604.99 £608.24 -0.53%

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 2014.

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