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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: July 2017

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 a spectrum of 17 different trades now split across ten regions.

So far, so good!  That seems to be the message for freelance builders across the country, as we enter the second half of 2017.  National average earnings are currently £853 a week – a rise of exactly £100 compared to the start of the year.

“July’s data reveals extremely healthy earnings growth of over 3.5%, with the average subbie £30 better off than last month,” comments Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “The North-East is the only region to buck the trend with a 2% reversal, but even after that, freelance builders are still better off than they were in May.”

National Weekly Average Earnings July 2017: £853

Region July 2017 Average Change from June 2017
North East £701.00 -2.14%
North West £774.00 4.39%
Yorkshire & Humber £780.00 2.44%
East Midlands £864.00 3.13%
West Midlands £883.00 3.96%
Wales £765.00 8.50%
East of England £933.00 3.11%
London £861.00 3.95%
South East £869.00 4.03%
South West £775.00 2.19%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Individual Trades - Winners and Losers:

Nationally this month’s winners are:

  • Bricklaying:  +7.0%
    The barometer of the industry, up £24 on last year's peak
  • Specialist Trades:  +6.5%
    South-East and West Midlands lead the way
  • Surfacing Contractors:  +6.0%
    Wales and the North-West enjoy a lucrative month

At the other end of the scale only two trades reported overall reductions:

  • Shopfitting:  -0.5%
    Fractional decrease – but still earning £1,000+pw on average
  • Mechanical & Engineering:  -0.4%
    Down by £4 on June

While it has been a good month for Hudson Contract operatives, this month’s national snapshot is less optimistic, with July turning out to be the slowest month for growth in almost five years.

The latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index put the figures down to a slowdown in commercial building and housing activity with civil engineering the only sector to show an upturn. 

“Concerns about the economic outlook and heightened Brexit uncertainty seem to be front of mind,” Ian Anfield adds.  “Construction seems to be taking a cautious view at the moment with companies increasingly reluctant to spend and taking longer in committing to new projects, amid the feeling that next year may be particularly difficult for the industry.  Fingers crossed that this is nothing more than a blip, rather than the start of a new downward trend.”

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 July 2017.

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