Freelance Builder Pay Trends: January

Strong start to 2020 as confidence builds in construction sector

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using monthly payroll data for more than 2,200+ construction companies to publish the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades now split across ten regions.

January was a record month for subbies in the East Midlands and London as their earnings hit an all-time high.

Our payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a weekly average of £921 for subcontractors, a 2.8 per cent decrease on December.

The seasonal decline seen at the start of every new year was much less marked than 2019 when average earnings fell by 12.4 per cent.

Still, it was a strong start to 2020 for subcontractors in the East Midlands and London who earned £952 (up 1.4 per cent) and £949 (up 3.2 per cent) respectively.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “This is great news for subbies in the East Midlands and London who enjoyed record earnings last month.

“January can be predictably painful for freelance tradespeople due to the seasonal decline we see at the start of every new year.

“The overall picture at the start of 2020 is much stronger than the start of 2019, which shows renewed confidence in the business outlook for the construction sector.”

National Weekly Average Earnings January 2020: £921
Region January 2020 Average Month on Month Change Year on Year Change
North East £774 0.8% 7.9% 
North West £855 -1.7% 12.4% 
Yorkshire & Humber £828 -6.4% 6.0% 
East Midlands £952 1.4% 12% 
West Midlands £956 -6.4% 11.9% 
Wales £824 -0.6% 4.8% 
East of England £968 -4.3% 9.6% 
London £949 3.2% 12% 
South East £947 -3.7% 13.4% 
South West £866 -0.9% 17.8% 

 

Commenting on the latest construction PMI, Mr Anfield added: “The rebound in optimism mirrors what we are seeing on the ground. Building firms are planning ahead with more confidence and starting to invest again. This is good news for the sector and the wider economy.

"Our payroll data for more than 2,200 construction SMEs shows much stronger demand for skilled tradespeople than this time last year, reflecting the improved picture.

"The PMI commentary notes the increased use of subcontractors, which highlights the benefits of a flexible workforce in managing demand.”

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

This month’s winners:

  • Plumbing +46.2%
  • Shop Fitting +44.7%
  • Mechanical & Engineering +39.9%

And the losers:

  • Bricklaying -34.4%
  • Civil Engineering -26.5%
  • Roofing -20.7%
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 2020.

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