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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: March 2013

News and Views | 1st March 2013

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using payroll data for over 2,200 construction companies and over 120,000 freelance builders to publish the average pay for the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

Earnings edged up upwards this month, returning to positive figures in four of our five regions, with only the North-East reporting a fractional decrease of less than one per cent.

Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson observes, “That’s in contrast to the latest Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply figures, which reveal British construction output fell in February at the fastest pace in more than three years.

“It highlights the importance of maintaining a flexible workforce, that enables contractors to compete cost-effectively for the work that’s out there, whilst minimising the impact of downtime when contracts are scarce and during bad weather.”

This month’s winning trades:

Sixty per cent of the 85 regional trades saw an earnings increase in February. Big winners include:

  • Surfacing contractors in the North-West:  +18%
  • Plumbers in the Midlands:  +16%
  • Electricians in the South-West:  +15%

This month’s losing trades:

Perhaps because the weather was better across the South of England, most of those whose earnings have fallen are in the North and the Midlands. Significant earnings drops include:

  • Specialist trades in the North-East:  -16%
  • Specialist trades in the Midlands:  -14%
  • Roofers in the Midlands:  -12%

Seasonal winners

“One of the winners across all regions this month is surfacing contractors – but that’s no real surprise,” David Jackson says. “Due to the constant temperature changes, our roads take a real hammering in winter, and it’s a never-ending task to fill in all the potholes. As daylight hours increase, it becomes possible to fully resurface in a single session, hence demand – and earnings – rise.

“Equally, the highest-earning trade this month is one that works mostly indoors – shopfitters – whose weekly rates were around £900 in the Midlands, the North-West and the South-West.

“It’s also worth noting that while the general earnings trend is slightly upwards, bricklaying rates – always regarded as the barometer of our industry – are down everywhere, with the exception of the North-East. There is every reason to continue to be cautious as we move towards Spring.”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £489.42 £441.85 10.77%
Civil Engineering £550.00 £549.03 0.18%
Demolition £354.27 £362.94 -2.39%
Electrical £633.66 £661.00 -4.14%
Equipment & Operator hire £623.85 £577.63 8.00%
Fit out by specialist trades £607.96 £722.43 -15.85%
General Construction £582.57 £593.06 -1.77%
Insulation £621.78 £602.14 3.26%
Joinery £585.52 £594.68 -1.54%
Mechanical £611.62 £623.52 -1.91%
Plastering £597.07 £589.26 1.33%
Plumbing £628.73 £673.39 -6.63%
Roofing £574.88 £605.27 -5.02%
Scaffolding £480.73 £447.64 7.39%
Shopfitting £684.22 £789.58 -13.34%
Steel & Timber frame erect £675.11 £589.89 14.45%
Surfacing contractors £632.54 £601.76 5.11%
Average £584.35 £589.71 -0.91%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £439.93 £451.98 -2.67%
Civil Engineering £559.07 £600.61 -6.92%
Demolition £698.73 £635.55 9.94%
Electrical £699.88 £764.31 -8.43%
Equipment & Operator hire £658.91 £618.68 6.50%
Fit out by specialist trades £825.70 £821.10 0.56%
General Construction £589.18 £606.16 -2.80%
Insulation £599.02 £559.15 7.13%
Joinery £635.09 £645.75 -1.65%
Mechanical £499.95 £535.19 -6.58%
Plastering £551.97 £518.89 6.38%
Plumbing £591.52 £607.38 -2.61%
Roofing £672.27 £674.55 -0.34%
Scaffolding £426.79 £423.95 0.67%
Shopfitting £914.19 £801.33 14.08%
Steel & Timber frame erect £627.25 £613.95 2.17%
Surfacing contractors £612.77 £518.86 18.10%
Average £623.66 £611.61 1.97%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £442.58 £481.78 -8.14%
Civil Engineering £669.63 £636.95 5.13%
Demolition £517.78 £503.95 2.74%
Electrical £658.62 £644.63 2.17%
Equipment & Operator hire £510.58 £528.14 -3.32%
Fit out by specialist trades £475.54 £554.28 -14.21%
General Construction £616.05 £576.19 6.92%
Insulation £665.96 £641.95 3.74%
Joinery £695.24 £719.67 -3.39%
Mechanical £786.88 £737.13 6.75%
Plastering £547.53 £547.10 0.08%
Plumbing £613.24 £530.73 15.55%
Roofing £477.98 £542.66 -11.92%
Scaffolding £547.25 £523.31 4.57%
Shopfitting £897.94 £895.14 0.31%
Steel & Timber frame erect £786.22 £744.01 5.67%
Surfacing contractors £690.91 £629.29 9.79%
Average £623.53 £613.94 1.56%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £532.36 £567.61 -6.21%
Civil Engineering £686.29 £677.76 1.26%
Demolition £445.83 £437.24 1.96%
Electrical £780.35 £700.62 11.38%
Equipment & Operator hire £717.80 £641.30 11.93%
Fit out by specialist trades £645.11 £688.46 -6.30%
General Construction £614.82 £611.40 0.56%
Insulation £738.80 £691.56 6.83%
Joinery £740.64 £669.77 10.58%
Mechanical £678.24 £733.25 -7.50%
Plastering £581.02 £567.77 2.33%
Plumbing £790.14 £814.67 -3.01%
Roofing £705.47 £639.96 10.24%
Scaffolding £599.64 £633.06 -5.28%
Shopfitting £822.14 £849.80 -3.25%
Steel & Timber frame erect £601.66 £594.90 1.14%
Surfacing contractors £643.91 £590.46 9.05%
Average £666.13 £653.51 1.93%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £413.81 £440.42 -6.04%
Civil Engineering £567.76 £539.45 5.25%
Demolition £654.07 £627.63 4.21%
Electrical £670.26 £582.57 15.05%
Equipment & Operator hire £563.43 £559.33 0.73%
Fit out by specialist trades £688.13 £735.61 -6.45%
General Construction £616.60 £574.92 7.25%
Insulation £614.95 £605.32 1.59%
Joinery £458.75 £462.67 -0.85%
Mechanical £652.96 £681.75 -4.22%
Plastering £566.36 £531.55 6.55%
Plumbing £626.49 £646.64 -3.12%
Roofing £565.24 £548.88 2.98%
Scaffolding £658.18 £638.28 3.12%
Shopfitting £968.06 £978.10 -1.03%
Steel & Timber frame erect £761.03 £685.71 10.98%
Surfacing contractors £532.31 £521.55 2.06%
Average £622.26 £609.43 2.10%

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 28th February 2013.

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