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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: July 2014

News and Views | 1st July 2014

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 stand-out statistic is that average earnings in the South-East have finally broken through the £700-a-week barrier. But that said, this month’s pay stats are a mixed bag:

  • UP 2%+ in the North-East and the South-East
  • DOWN 1.6% in the Midlands
  • UNCHANGED in the North-West and the South-West

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments: “As always, the South-East leads the way when it comes to earnings, and the average this month is £710. Next comes the Midlands, at £672, with the North-West, North-East and the South-West all more or less level at £633 a week.

Earnings gap winners and losers

“For me, perhaps the most significant statistic to emerge this month is that those working in shopfitting now earn an average of over £800 a week – and that earnings are heading towards £1k a week in the South-East and the North-West. It’s a signal that the retail industry is getting back on its feet, reflecting the generally upbeat economic mood.”

At the other end of the earnings league, it is scaffolders who are feeling the earnings gap. Their national average is currently about £550 a week, falling to £483 in the North-East, making scaffolders there one of the industry’s ‘poor relations’ – only demolition workers in the North-East and M&E in the North-West earn less.

This month’s winners: All in the North

  • Joiners in the North-East: +17.64%
  • Steel & Timber Frame Erectors in the North-East: +16.78%
  • Roofers in the North-West: +11.98%

This month’s losers: Around the country

  • Shopfitters in the South-West: -15.46% (But still earning £842 a week)
  • Steel & Timber Frame Erectors in the Midlands: -14.89%
  • Joiners in the North-West: -13.51%

Ian Anfield adds: “With joiners and steel and timber frame erectors featuring on both the winners and losers lists this month, it really demonstrates how widely demand varies from one region to another at any given moment.”

Skills shortage begins to bite

Meanwhile, the Federation of Master Builders latest State of Trade survey confirms that work continues to pick up and workloads are increasing. But there is also a downside to the positive new. . . a lack of skilled tradesmen.

In particular, the survey highlights a shortage of plasterers, site supervisors and site mangers, along with the continuing issue of finding bricklayers. Twenty per cent of contractors are also struggling to recruit plant operators and general construction operatives.

Scaffolders remain the least difficult trade to hire – which explains why they are propping up this month’s pay stats.

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £588.07 £609.92 -3.58%
Civil Engineering £630.31 £651.91 -3.31%
Demolition £443.23 £438.15 1.16%
Electrical £693.59 £708.59 -2.12%
Equipment & Operator hire £725.72 £673.81 7.70%
Fit out by specialist trades £704.32 £635.78 10.78%
General Construction £638.13 £626.18 1.91%
Insulation £642.95 £628.14 2.36%
Joinery £781.15 £663.99 17.64%
Mechanical £687.21 £689.57 -0.34%
Plastering £689.85 £757.35 -8.91%
Plumbing £596.23 £617.98 -3.52%
Roofing £599.58 £557.07 7.63%
Scaffolding £483.94 £523.66 -7.59%
Shopfitting £634.95 £607.23 4.56%
Steel & Timber frame erect £692.55 £593.06 16.78%
Surfacing contractors £566.36 £549.01 3.16%
Average £635.18 £619.49 2.53%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £588.92 £546.94 7.68%
Civil Engineering £553.56 £603.37 -8.26%
Demolition £687.00 £724.21 -5.14%
Electrical £725.46 £694.79 4.41%
Equipment & Operator hire £655.95 £671.29 -2.29%
Fit out by specialist trades £630.93 £614.51 2.67%
General Construction £617.79 £623.03 -0.84%
Insulation £726.31 £760.74 -4.53%
Joinery £584.51 £675.79 -13.51%
Mechanical £476.72 £442.52 7.73%
Plastering £552.39 £587.61 -5.99%
Plumbing £561.42 £542.14 3.56%
Roofing £780.18 £696.69 11.98%
Scaffolding £480.08 £478.67 0.29%
Shopfitting £974.20 £900.49 8.19%
Steel & Timber frame erect £635.26 £576.77 10.14%
Surfacing contractors £530.95 £593.03 -10.47%
Average £633.04 £631.33 0.27%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £539.13 £530.13 1.70%
Civil Engineering £691.60 £699.54 -1.14%
Demolition £703.44 £710.32 -0.97%
Electrical £656.90 £651.71 0.80%
Equipment & Operator hire £597.09 £608.28 -1.84%
Fit out by specialist trades £711.60 £666.17 6.82%
General Construction £656.51 £665.16 -1.30%
Insulation £628.44 £689.66 -8.88%
Joinery £689.04 £676.86 1.80%
Mechanical £811.15 £750.76 8.04%
Plastering £591.94 £672.91 -12.03%
Plumbing £781.57 £766.20 2.01%
Roofing £692.19 £647.11 6.97%
Scaffolding £576.21 £583.08 -1.18%
Shopfitting £694.34 £689.97 0.63%
Steel & Timber frame erect £667.75 £784.60 -14.89%
Surfacing contractors £740.49 £826.89 -10.45%
Average £672.32 £683.49 -1.63%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £594.05 £608.82 -2.43%
Civil Engineering £684.89 £678.60 0.93%
Demolition £587.79 £539.85 8.88%
Electrical £820.43 £816.10 0.53%
Equipment & Operator hire £796.97 £830.86 -4.08%
Fit out by specialist trades £688.83 £693.34 -0.65%
General Construction £633.86 £661.78 -4.22%
Insulation £764.03 £811.96 -5.90%
Joinery £814.33 £747.55 8.93%
Mechanical £756.55 £728.23 3.89%
Plastering £581.95 £570.73 1.97%
Plumbing £850.14 £786.04 8.15%
Roofing £650.00 £632.32 2.80%
Scaffolding £646.64 £661.03 -2.18%
Shopfitting £949.70 £848.69 11.90%
Steel & Timber frame erect £587.23 £542.73 8.20%
Surfacing contractors £666.78 £654.36 1.90%
Average £710.25 £694.88 2.21%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £534.33 £531.83 0.47%
Civil Engineering £667.68 £599.03 11.46%
Demolition £636.80 £642.71 -0.92%
Electrical £644.67 £612.44 5.26%
Equipment & Operator hire £529.16 £533.43 -0.80%
Fit out by specialist trades £813.36 £727.77 11.76%
General Construction £652.43 £644.07 1.30%
Insulation £648.65 £631.17 2.77%
Joinery £552.75 £521.14 6.07%
Mechanical £693.09 £682.36 1.57%
Plastering £629.09 £568.22 10.71%
Plumbing £596.99 £657.32 -9.18%
Roofing £578.63 £589.13 -1.78%
Scaffolding £521.95 £562.56 -7.22%
Shopfitting £842.47 £996.49 -15.46%
Steel & Timber frame erect £699.66 £709.32 -1.36%
Surfacing contractors £533.37 £569.91 -6.41%
Average £633.83 £634.05 -0.04%

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 30th June 2014.

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