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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2018

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.

It’s been back to business as usual on sites across the nation during February – exactly as expected.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield says: “After construction’s traditional slow start in January, earnings bounced back almost to the levels of the pre-Christmas push to get projects finished. February’s rise of over 10%, which works out to an extra £90 a week nationwide, shows how quickly the industry gets back into the swing of things. It also demonstrates that our clients’ confidence in the industry is currently riding high, which is excellent news for us all.”

This month’s stand-out region is East Midlands, where subbies’ weekly earnings soared by £98, climbing to an all-time high of £909.

National Weekly Average Earnings February 2018: £867

Region February 2018 Average Change from January 2018
North East £717.00 +4.46%
North West £766.00 +7.05%
Yorkshire & Humber £799.00 +7.26%
East Midlands £909.00 +10.78%
West Midlands £926.00 +16.41%
Wales £747.00 -2.81%
East of England £922.00 +8.89%
London £873.00 +11.00%
South East £865.00 +8.79%
South West £796.00 +6.41%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

This month’s winners are:

  • Insulation: +20.3%
    East of England preparing for foul weather
  • Demolition & Wrecking: +18.0%
    Strong gains in South-East and West Midlands
  • Surfacing: +13.6%
    Earnings up everywhere as winter takes it toll

The only loser:

  • Equipment & Operator Hire: -1%
    A loss of £9 per week on January

Turning to the national perspective, IHS Markit/CIPS UK PMI index – which reflects confidence in construction – has risen for the first time in three months:

  • Commercial construction expanded at its fastest pace since last May
  • Housebuilding’s soft patch continued during February
  • Civils went backwards with a sharp fall and concern about lack of work to replace current projects.

Ian Anfield adds: “The challenges of 2018 are beginning to make themselves known. The fallout from Carillion – and the 30,000 firms in its supply chain – is still emerging and some fear another main contractor will go belly up. We are still waiting to discover if local authorities will receive extra funding to address the fire safety issues surrounding tower blocks. And as the year goes on, the post-Brexit picture will become clearer, enabling construction companies to adjust their strategies in response.

“It’s fair to say the industry is approaching the future with typical caution. And we know already that the combination of snow and the ‘Beast from the East’ will take a toll on March earnings. We are all hoping new shoots will appear in Spring.”

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 2018.

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