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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: March 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.

Holding steady.  That’s the pattern for earnings in March, with labour-only subbies on a national weekly average of £841 – which works out to an increase of £26-a-week since this time last year.

Looking regionally, the biggest increase of 1.71% is in the South East (£15pw) and at the other end of scale, the North West has seen a drop-off of 1.62% (£12pw).

National Weekly Average Earnings March 2017: £841

Region March 2017 Average Change from February 2017
North East £709.00 +1.13%
North West £741.00 -1.62%
Yorkshire & Humber £767.00 No Change
East Midlands £876.00 +0.68%
West Midlands £860.00 -1.40%
Wales £736.00 -0.27%
East of England £925.00 +1.19%
London £849.00 -1.18%
South East £876.00 +1.71%
South West £784.00 -0.89%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Individual Trades: Winners and Losers:

Nationally this month’s winners are:

  • Shopfitting: +5.6%
    London and the North-West lead the way
  • Equipment & Operator Hire: +4.4%
    Strong jump in activity in the East Midlands
  • Mechanical & Engineering: +4.1%
    South-East bounces back to levels last seen three months ago

The downside

Amongst the trades, scaffolding & lifting, civil engineering and general construction are all down nationally, with 2.6%, 1.3% and 0.9% reductions respectively. But none have dropped below the levels seen in January.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments: “Confidence remains high amongst the companies we have visited over the past few weeks, and there seem to be three main topics of conversation.”

These are:

  1. Volumes of work: Across the country, projects are starting to pick up after the usual slow start to the year. In the Midlands, in particular, clients report plenty of work in the pipeline and are looking forward to a busy summer. In the North, housebuilders and associated trades are feeling particularly positive.
  2. Labour shortages: Firms in the South-East are already struggling to get the skilled labour they need, while in the Midlands there is simply a general lack of labour. Nationally, the feeling is that if we could only attract more people into the industry, there is plenty of work for increased numbers.
  3. Brexit & Article 50: Even though we have now formally announced our decision to leave the EU, the general feeling is that the reality is a long way off and that until we actually start to see any impact, the best course of action is to keep calm and carry on.

From the national perspective, the latest Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index echoes Hudson Contract’s own data. The Index remains positive, reporting that while there was softer growth in the house building sector, there has been a rebound in both the commercial and civil engineering sectors.

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 March 2017.

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