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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: July 2015

News and Views | 14th July 2015

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.

A BIG development in this month’s pay stats: For the first time in 2015, freelance builders in one part of the UK have seen their earnings increase by an inflation-busting 5.6%. As a result, average weekly earnings in the North-East have crossed the £700 threshold.

The earnings leap is mirrored to a slightly lesser effect in the North-West, where a 3.2% increase also takes average pay to over £700 a week. And the good news continues in the Midlands and the South-East, where the average increase is over 2%.

But it’s a different story in the South-West. Here, rates have fallen by 1.8%, with the average labour-only subbie earning £670, – making them the lowest earners anywhere. To put that into context, a bricklayer in the South-West is earning £485 a week, while his counterpart in the Midlands gets £715.

Meanwhile, the current ‘King of Trades’ is shopfitters. Take a look at their League Table:

  1. North-West: £960
  2. South-East: £945
  3. South-West: £882
  4. Midlands: £868
  5. North-East: £709

 Hudson Contract clients are increasingly optimistic

“Strong optimism and an increase in work available is a boost to everyone in construction,” says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield. ‘Apart from the slowdown while the election campaign was in force, the picture has been improving, but we’ve been waiting a long time for better times in construction. It’s very satisfying to hear from so many clients about the increases of work availability, both short and long term and also in their local areas.”

The Hudson Contract experience is echoed by the latest Markit/CIPS survey. The construction industry’s ‘confidence level’ has surged to a ten-year high – with increased workloads in both the public and private sectors – and strong positivity for the year ahead.

 This month’s earnings winners:

  • Demolition in the North-East: +19%
  • Equipment & Operator Hire in the Midlands: +17%
  • Mechanical & Engineering in the North-East: +15%

 And the losers:

  • Plasterers in the South-West: -11%
  • Specialist trades in the South-West: -10%
  • Steel & Timber Frame Erectors in the Midlands: - 10%

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     670.42  £      652.85 2.69%
Civil Engineering  £     674.39  £      685.14 -1.57%
Demolition  £     475.06  £      399.74 18.84%
Electrical  £     651.42  £      650.06 0.21%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     874.71  £      787.20 11.12%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     841.97  £      735.58 14.46%
General Construction  £     757.84  £      737.35 2.78%
Insulation  £     681.62  £      642.36 6.11%
Joinery  £     680.92  £      744.81 -8.58%
Mechanical  £     786.41  £      683.19 15.11%
Plastering  £     784.18  £      725.90 8.03%
Plumbing  £     610.86  £      629.36 -2.94%
Roofing  £     696.82  £      661.18 5.39%
Scaffolding  £     604.30  £      591.60 2.15%
Shopfitting  £     709.50  £      645.46 9.92%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     769.82  £      730.79 5.34%
Surfacing contractors  £     761.06  £      693.75 9.70%
Average  £     707.72  £      670.37 5.57%

 

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      659.81  £       638.71 3.30%
Civil Engineering  £      633.93  £       629.38 0.72%
Demolition  £      740.76  £       774.03 -4.30%
Electrical  £      838.06  £       801.28 4.59%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      708.85  £       673.70 5.22%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      738.83  £       682.63 8.23%
General Construction  £      741.92  £       765.71 -3.11%
Insulation  £      762.39  £       724.18 5.28%
Joinery  £      762.61  £       692.06 10.19%
Mechanical  £      553.90  £       559.44 -0.99%
Plastering  £      488.02  £       464.49 5.07%
Plumbing  £      554.81  £       527.91 5.10%
Roofing  £      912.19  £       913.14 -0.10%
Scaffolding  £      552.80  £       513.96 7.56%
Shopfitting  £      960.35  £       926.47 3.66%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      704.05  £       652.25 7.94%
Surfacing contractors  £      608.29  £       609.03 -0.12%
Average  £      701.27  £       679.32 3.23%

 

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £     715.29  £      689.22 3.78%
Civil Engineering  £     769.08  £      751.75 2.31%
Demolition  £     781.93  £      788.11 -0.78%
Electrical  £     753.88  £      712.07 5.87%
Equipment & Operator hire  £     734.83  £      626.73 17.25%
Fit out by specialist trades  £     896.28  £      872.48 2.73%
General Construction  £     721.58  £      711.23 1.46%
Insulation  £     707.87  £      616.98 14.73%
Joinery  £     714.13  £      762.13 -6.30%
Mechanical  £     691.61  £      750.69 -7.87%
Plastering  £     704.44  £      618.43 13.91%
Plumbing  £     859.39  £      832.73 3.20%
Roofing  £     762.84  £      713.99 6.84%
Scaffolding  £     625.22  £      676.08 -7.52%
Shopfitting  £     868.21  £      826.24 5.08%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £     552.53  £      614.46 -10.08%
Surfacing contractors  £     857.34  £      902.84 -5.04%
Average  £     748.03  £      733.30 2.01%

 

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      685.01  £       706.35 -3.02%
Civil Engineering  £      740.22  £       733.27 0.95%
Demolition  £      661.07  £       625.29 5.72%
Electrical  £      921.67  £       952.15 -3.20%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      847.22  £       825.47 2.63%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      666.96  £       702.99 -5.13%
General Construction  £      727.55  £       706.36 3.00%
Insulation  £      785.49  £       772.18 1.72%
Joinery  £      893.19  £       856.94 4.23%
Mechanical  £      826.90  £       767.27 7.77%
Plastering  £      685.87  £       659.62 3.98%
Plumbing  £      881.47  £       845.44 4.26%
Roofing  £      703.47  £       626.29 12.32%
Scaffolding  £      758.97  £       750.36 1.15%
Shopfitting  £      945.20  £       955.77 -1.11%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      665.87  £       605.41 9.99%
Surfacing contractors  £      693.19  £       708.53 -2.17%
Average  £      769.96  £       752.92 2.26%

 

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying  £      485.45  £       523.54 -7.28%
Civil Engineering  £      686.40  £       672.49 2.07%
Demolition  £      562.43  £       594.08 -5.33%
Electrical  £      681.03  £       659.76 3.22%
Equipment & Operator hire  £      595.71  £       595.19 0.09%
Fit out by specialist trades  £      695.90  £       774.09 -10.10%
General Construction  £      644.92  £       635.46 1.49%
Insulation  £      658.49  £       649.14 1.44%
Joinery  £      800.48  £       741.98 7.88%
Mechanical  £      684.11  £       651.51 5.00%
Plastering  £      658.41  £       736.48 -10.60%
Plumbing  £      667.86  £       693.27 -3.67%
Roofing  £      707.88  £       738.93 -4.20%
Scaffolding  £      640.58  £       698.02 -8.23%
Shopfitting  £      882.90  £       932.28 -5.30%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £      738.23  £       723.14 2.09%
Surfacing contractors  £      614.97  £       600.75 2.37%
Average  £      670.93  £       683.54 -1.84%

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 30th June 2015.