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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: January 2016

News and Views | 13th January 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 the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

This month’s pay statistics reveal a definite North-South divide. 

Freelance builders working in the South and the Midlands ended the year on a high note, roaring ahead with significant increases of 4.75% – 6% compared to three months ago.  In cash terms, that works out to an extra £40 a week.  Meanwhile, their counterparts in the North-West have seen their earnings rise by only £20 a week over the same period, while labour-only subbies in the North-East have seen no increase at all.

“It’s certainly been a lucrative end to the year in certain places, as you can see from the figures below,” observes Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “The double-digit increases for mechanical engineers and plasterers work out to an extra  £130 a week compared to September.  Always very welcome at Christmas!”

This month’s winners and losers…

Winners:

M & E in the North-West: +26.6%

Plasterers in the South-West: +23.9%

Scaffolders in the South-West: +19.1%

Losers

Roofers in the North-West: -12.3%

Demolition in the South-West: -10.4%

Joiners in the South-West: -10.0%

Across the industry, reports indicate that 2015 finished on a general high.  Markit/CIPS says an increase in new business during December has sparked increased confidence in construction, with only 7% of those who were polled forecasting any reduction in activity for the year ahead.

“The overall view is that 2016 will be a good year for the construction industry,” Ian Anfield says.  “Housebuilding remains at the forefront of the sector, with one specialist recruiter is forecasting that over a million new construction jobs will need to be created, to build homes at the necessary rate between now and 2020.  I’ve also heard it said by no less an organisation than the Office for National Statistics that even if every bricklayer in the country worked on housebuilding, there would still be a skills shortage.

“Going forward, the twin issues of a skills gap and shortages of materials are likely to remain.  When you consider construction shed an estimated 300,000 jobs during the recession – almost half of all jobs lost in Britain – there will be plenty of opportunities for those with experience, skill and the desire to work hard.”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     666.28  £      698.35 -4.59%
Civil Engineering  £     695.44  £      666.99 4.27%
Demolition  £     543.11  £      532.65 1.96%
Electrical  £     762.29  £      759.33 0.39%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     733.11  £      781.35 -6.17%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     720.61  £      791.77 -8.99%
General Construction  £     719.36  £      745.19 -3.47%
Insulation  £     735.76  £      671.52 9.57%
Joinery  £     798.90  £      773.07 3.34%
Mechanical  £     774.66  £      846.08 -8.44%
Plastering  £     733.41  £      708.37 3.53%
Plumbing  £     696.45  £      630.35 10.49%
Roofing  £     672.26  £      685.59 -1.94%
Scaffolding  £     544.48  £      584.46 -6.84%
Shopfitting  £     779.51  £      833.86 -6.52%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     633.93  £      623.65 1.65%
Surfacing contractors  £     797.79  £      712.47 11.98%
Average  £     706.31  £      708.53 -0.31%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      598.53  £       657.76 -9.00%
Civil Engineering  £      685.13  £       624.82 9.65%
Demolition  £      811.74  £       728.89 11.37%
Electrical  £      778.63  £       761.77 2.21%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      709.18  £       708.22 0.14%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      755.36  £       726.92 3.91%
General Construction  £      757.10  £       725.75 4.32%
Insulation  £      847.88  £       719.67 17.82%
Joinery  £      736.79  £       730.68 0.84%
Mechanical  £      628.83  £       496.85 26.56%
Plastering  £      473.25  £       466.41 1.47%
Plumbing  £      589.12  £       577.30 2.05%
Roofing  £      783.83  £       893.76 -12.30%
Scaffolding  £      566.36  £       549.10 3.14%
Shopfitting  £      915.31  £       996.11 -8.11%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      701.91  £       694.69 1.04%
Surfacing contractors  £      668.68  £       601.85 11.10%
Average  £      706.33  £       685.91 2.98%

MIDLANDS 

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     717.10  £      632.99 13.29%
Civil Engineering  £     781.25  £      756.10 3.33%
Demolition  £     885.39  £      795.11 11.35%
Electrical  £     792.42  £      741.72 6.84%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     723.23  £      739.67 -2.22%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     847.28  £      862.79 -1.80%
General Construction  £     774.71  £      727.36 6.51%
Insulation  £     657.20  £      684.17 -3.94%
Joinery  £     747.99  £      745.44 0.34%
Mechanical  £     740.56  £      676.86 9.41%
Plastering  £     809.81  £      707.26 14.50%
Plumbing  £     903.10  £      843.40 7.08%
Roofing  £     621.03  £      606.04 2.47%
Scaffolding  £     701.63  £      595.81 17.76%
Shopfitting  £     895.78  £      881.44 1.63%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     698.32  £      637.91 9.47%
Surfacing contractors  £     842.49  £      838.52 0.47%
Average  £     772.90  £      733.68 5.35%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      716.86  £       639.21 12.15%
Civil Engineering  £      744.13  £       709.32 4.91%
Demolition  £      668.04  £       660.69 1.11%
Electrical  £      940.56  £       919.87 2.25%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      797.85  £       817.84 -2.44%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      738.35  £       673.05 9.70%
General Construction  £      760.47  £       707.17 7.54%
Insulation  £      892.66  £       789.88 13.01%
Joinery  £      868.84  £       849.70 2.25%
Mechanical  £      846.09  £       808.41 4.66%
Plastering  £      673.02  £       713.38 -5.66%
Plumbing  £      929.44  £       886.28 4.87%
Roofing  £      690.47  £       644.75 7.09%
Scaffolding  £      786.64  £       715.65 9.92%
Shopfitting  £      940.98  £       946.91 -0.63%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      702.38  £       661.03 6.26%
Surfacing contractors  £      682.78  £       631.04 8.20%
Average  £      787.03  £       751.42 4.74%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      517.26  £       474.67 8.97%
Civil Engineering  £      661.24  £       636.36 3.91%
Demolition  £      556.14  £       620.98 -10.44%
Electrical  £      690.83  £       630.38 9.59%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      626.28  £       594.24 5.39%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      709.08  £       686.29 3.32%
General Construction  £      679.90  £       627.80 8.30%
Insulation  £      652.91  £       634.58 2.89%
Joinery  £      715.48  £       794.97 -10.00%
Mechanical  £      787.01  £       690.08 14.05%
Plastering  £      686.38  £       553.91 23.92%
Plumbing  £      658.66  £       621.43 5.99%
Roofing  £      698.73  £       670.53 4.21%
Scaffolding  £      704.10  £       591.20 19.10%
Shopfitting  £      910.05  £       825.82 10.20%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      680.30  £       646.79 5.18%
Surfacing contractors  £      640.63  £       568.93 12.60%
Average  £      680.88  £       639.35 6.50%

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 December 2015.

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