Freelance Builder Pay Trends: February 2021

Strong demand for labour drives growth in earnings

Earnings for tradespeople increased by 6.1 per cent last month as the construction industry hit its stride again after the seasonal slow start to the year.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “We are seeing growing demand for skilled labour on building sites across England and Wales. Many of our clients are in the housebuilding sector and are reporting full order books.

“Interest rates are at a near-record low, latest Bank of England data show the mortgage market is strong and the government is committed to new infrastructure spending. The pandemic has been tough for everybody but the sector has fought its way through, highlighting its importance to the wider UK economy.”

The best-performing regions for earnings growth were the North East (up 10.6 per cent), the East of England (up 10.4 per cent) and the South East (up 8.2 per cent).

NATIONAL WEEKLY AVERAGE EARNINGS FEBRUARY 2021: £887

Region January 2021 Average Month on Month % Change Year on Year % Change
North East £770 10.6% 0.5% 
North West £876 6.2% -0.5% 
Yorkshire & Humber £799 6.3% -3.6% 
East Midlands £934 4.1% -1.7% 
West Midlands £884 5.1% -10.8% 
Wales £851 -1.8% 6.1% 
East of England £968 10.4% 0.2% 
London £880 3.0% -3.7% 
South East £941 8.2% 1.0% 
South West £861 5.8% 0.3% 

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Mr Anfield added: “The construction industry continues to offer great earning potential for people who want to start or switch careers. We are playing our part in promoting the sector through our 10-year-old apprentice sponsorship scheme, which is creating meaningful training opportunities for young people in our home county of Yorkshire.”

As the largest engager of self-employed labour, Hudson 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.

Our company supplies statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with real-time insights on demand for skilled labour.

Last month’s winners:

Steel and timber frame (+17.2%)
Joinery (+13.4%)
Electrical (+12.7%)

Losers:

Equipment and operator hire (-8.5%)
Insulation (1.3%)
Shop fitting (1.4%)

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.

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