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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2016

News and Views | 15th March 2016

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 across five regions.

No surprises this month . . . With relatively good weather in February, and daylight hours increasing,  freelance builders across the country are reporting increased earnings, with an average rise of about 5 per cent on wet and windy January.  In cash terms, that’s an extra £40 a week.

Weekly Average Earnings, February 2016:  £802.53

Regional Averages

North-East

North-West

Midlands

South-East

South-West

£716.33

£742.53

£880.42

£885.47

£787.92

Regionally, the biggest winners are in the South-East and Midlands with month-on month increases of 12% and 8% respectively.

“The impact of the weather is clear,” observes Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “The South-East had a month of above-average sunshine and 57mm of rain, whilst in the North-West, it was equally sunny, but much wetter, with 145mm of rain.  This goes a long way to explain why earnings there are up by an average of only twelve pounds a week.”

Across the regions, twelve trade groups enter the Hudson Contract ‘Four Figure Club’ of freelance builders earning an average of over £1,000 a week:

  • As always, Shopfitters remain amongst the earnings elite, with those in the South-West doing best of all trades anywhere, at £1,380.92, and only those in the North-East earning less than £1,000 per week
  • In the Midlands, Bricklayers, Electricians, Plumbers and Shopfitters all earned more than £1,000 per week
  • Demolition and Wrecking in the South-East and South-West also qualify – perhaps, signaling the start of a number of new projects
  • The North-East lags behind:  this month’s highest trade was Mechanical and Engineering on £961.58

Looking at the wider perspective, the latest Markit/CIPS survey reports a slowdown in the housebuilding sector which is echoed by new government statistics.  These reveal that while the rate of expansion continues to grow – 143,000 properties were started during 2015 and a further 142,890 completed – new-build numbers remained below the pre-recession peak of 2007.

Meanwhile infrastructure projects are keeping those in the civil engineering sector busy with their highest rate of expansion for five months.

Ian Anfield comments:  “While there has been an overall recent slowdown in the rate of new works, the industry as a whole remains positive.  Let’s hope the good weather stays with us.  It’s so important.  Fine weather increases the efficiency of the industry immensely.”

This month’s key trend:  Average pay in the South-East rising fast and approaching £900 a week

NORTH-EAST February 2016
BRICKLAYING £637.48
CIVIL ENGINEERING £688.01
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £519.47
ELECTRICAL £735.70
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £829.89
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £716.27
INSULATION £703.75
JOINERY £740.45
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £961.58
PLASTERING £663.75
PLUMBING £636.17
ROOF COVERINGS £699.38
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £536.56
SHOPFITTING £733.99
SPECIALIST TRADES £814.07
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £813.47
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £747.69
REGIONAL AVERAGE £716.33

 

NORTH-WEST February 2016
BRICKLAYING £658.34
CIVIL ENGINEERING £694.43
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £745.61
ELECTRICAL £800.60
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £691.31
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £777.28
INSULATION £1,065.31
JOINERY £709.17
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £698.23
PLASTERING £550.00
PLUMBING £626.60
ROOF COVERINGS £910.15
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £544.90
SHOPFITTING £1,067.51
SPECIALIST TRADES £793.28
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £710.15
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £580.17
REGIONAL AVERAGE £742.53

 

MIDLANDS February 2016
BRICKLAYING £1,002.21
CIVIL ENGINEERING £816.00
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £835.01
ELECTRICAL £1,147.94
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £872.17
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £887.51
INSULATION £680.49
JOINERY £850.19
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £779.93
PLASTERING £828.12
PLUMBING £1,328.50
ROOF COVERINGS £702.71
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £697.97
SHOPFITTING £1,276.04
SPECIALIST TRADES £917.04
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £621.46
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £723.77
REGIONAL AVERAGE £880.42

 

SOUTH-EAST February 2016
BRICKLAYING £689.67
CIVIL ENGINEERING £740.96
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £1,106.95
ELECTRICAL £1,203.73
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £813.51
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £819.61
INSULATION £858.67
JOINERY £924.34
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £931.67
PLASTERING £967.53
PLUMBING £1,033.39
ROOF COVERINGS £696.09
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £886.77
SHOPFITTING £1,021.86
SPECIALIST TRADES £934.24
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £722.91
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £701.06
REGIONAL AVERAGE £885.47

 

SOUTH-WEST February 2016
BRICKLAYING £651.82
CIVIL ENGINEERING £660.53
DEMOLITION & WRECKING £1,046.06
ELECTRICAL £671.59
EQUIPMENT & OPERATOR HIRE £669.09
GENERAL CONSTRUCTION £805.92
INSULATION £681.52
JOINERY £995.24
MECHANICAL & ENGINEERING £931.41
PLASTERING £594.27
PLUMBING £789.45
ROOF COVERINGS £688.28
SCAFFOLDING & LIFTING £674.97
SHOPFITTING £1,380.92
SPECIALIST TRADES £799.74
STEEL & TIMBER FRAME ERECTION £669.85
SURFACING CONTRACTORS £683.92
REGIONAL AVERAGE £787.92

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 February 2016.  

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