Freelance builders everywhere have started the year with huge slump in earnings – down as much as nearly 20% in the South West. Yet the message from Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield is clear: “There’s no need to panic. Keep calm and carry on.”
“We have seen this pay pattern for the past few years,” Ian Anfield continues. “It’s no surprise. But when you drill down into the data, a very different picture emerges. What happens is that in the build-up to Christmas, it’s a question of all hands on deck to get projects finished. Many labour-only subbies work flat out in December, assisted by good weather, and are able to maximise their earnings due to the increased demand. They then take an extended holiday break, only getting back to their normal routine in mid-January.
“We’ll have a more genuine earnings picture next month.”
|Region||January 2017 Average||Change from December 2016|
|Yorkshire & Humber||£699.00||-13.02%|
|East of England||£826.00||-13.32%|
To view our interactive pay trends map click here
This sluggish start to 2017 is echoed by the latest Markit/CIPS survey. Growth is still being recorded in January, but at a slower rate than at the end of last year. And despite the figures being slightly down, the mood of the construction sector remains optimistic.
Meanwhile, the Construction Products Association is blaming Brexit for cuts in its growth forecast. It now predicts output will increase by less than one per cent in 2017. A new report predicts the cost of raw materials and imports will remain higher due to the fall in the value of sterling.
The report concludes, however, that while office and retail construction projects will fall, this will be more than compensated for by a big increase in infrastructure starts – including HS2 and Hinkley Point – plus continued growth in housebuilding.
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 January 2017.