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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: May 2013

News and Views | 1st May 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 125,000 freelance builders to publish the average pay for the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

For the first time in 2013, all five Hudson Contract regions report an upward turn in average earnings:

  • The South-East leads the way with an increase of almost 8%
  • Next comes the Midlands, where earnings are up by 6.3%
  • The North-West and the North-East both report increases of over 4%
  • The South-West is this month’s ‘poor relation’ with earnings growing by just 2.7%.
  • Good news? Actually, it’s more of a mixed picture.

While the UK has side-stepped the dreaded triple dip recession, the fact remains that the construction sector is showing no real improvement. Comments Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson: “Trade group surveys continue to report downturns in business activity and falling numbers of new project starts, so the increases might have more to do with the improving weather than any construction sector recovery.

“Better weather also meant that housebuilding activity perked up during April. In fact, the latest quarterly NHBC registration figures report that 31,739 homes have been registered in the UK, which is 5,741 up on this time last year, and the highest quarterly level since 2008.

Are we turning the corner?

“So hopefully, this is a turning point for construction, where we have finally turned the corner and are poised for a gradual recovery. As always, I look to the barometer of our industry – bricklaying – for signals, and note that earnings in all regions increased during April, soaring by over 20% in both the North-East and the South-West.”

Other trades that have had an exceptionally good month include:

  • Plasterers in the Midlands:  +22%
  • Shopfitters in the North-West:  +21%
  • Joiners in the North-East:  +20%

Biggest losers

And at the other end of the scale, three particular trades have all seen the largest cut in average earnings and are also now on the lowest national rates for their trades:

  • Plasterers in the North-West:  -20%
  • Surfacing contractors in the North-East:  -16%
  • Electricians in the South-West:  -16%

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £514.83 £424.74 21.21%
Civil Engineering £533.85 £545.37 -2.11%
Demolition £400.07 £352.43 13.52%
Electrical £701.47 £704.98 -0.50%
Equipment & Operator hire £618.76 £547.99 12.91%
Fit out by specialist trades £639.27 £572.50 11.66%
General Construction £571.09 £523.32 9.13%
Insulation £628.71 £612.79 2.60%
Joinery £484.75 £405.46 19.56%
Mechanical £641.35 £581.87 10.22%
Plastering £612.33 £567.32 7.93%
Plumbing £617.58 £599.08 3.09%
Roofing £545.31 £477.67 14.16%
Scaffolding £422.45 £370.17 14.12%
Shopfitting £715.38 £819.72 -12.73%
Steel & Timber frame erect £699.87 £736.43 -4.96%
Surfacing contractors £506.91 £605.46 -16.28%
Average £579.65 £555.72 4.30%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £456.16 £419.42 8.76%
Civil Engineering £543.57 £511.42 6.29%
Demolition £836.27 £740.21 12.98%
Electrical £637.52 £687.83 -7.31%
Equipment & Operator hire £654.04 £579.50 12.86%
Fit out by specialist trades £666.99 £700.41 -4.77%
General Construction £577.58 £550.68 4.88%
Insulation £674.70 £580.90 16.15%
Joinery £616.42 £577.27 6.78%
Mechanical £408.17 £455.76 -10.44%
Plastering £480.80 £598.10 -19.61%
Plumbing £637.54 £616.94 3.34%
Roofing £637.28 £629.60 1.22%
Scaffolding £408.42 £380.78 7.26%
Shopfitting £884.24 £731.43 20.89%
Steel & Timber frame erect £686.88 £639.51 7.41%
Surfacing contractors £585.69 £512.09 14.37%
Average £611.31 £583.05 4.85%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £489.91 £420.55 16.49%
Civil Engineering £664.34 £600.13 10.70%
Demolition £525.28 £475.28 10.52%
Electrical £657.83 £599.11 9.80%
Equipment & Operator hire £609.43 £618.56 -1.48%
Fit out by specialist trades £508.88 £522.27 -2.56%
General Construction £574.77 £500.19 14.91%
Insulation £616.72 £585.03 5.42%
Joinery £715.93 £667.48 7.26%
Mechanical £585.61 £669.52 -12.53%
Plastering £527.73 £430.86 22.48%
Plumbing £576.28 £536.33 7.45%
Roofing £427.34 £452.97 -5.66%
Scaffolding £556.08 £491.82 13.07%
Shopfitting £708.97 £787.77 -10.00%
Steel & Timber frame erect £791.33 £670.47 18.03%
Surfacing contractors £631.33 £532.86 18.48%
Average £598.10 £562.42 6.34%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £531.95 £493.14 7.87%
Civil Engineering £649.01 £631.80 2.72%
Demolition £493.21 £429.77 14.76%
Electrical £788.85 £720.51 9.48%
Equipment & Operator hire £726.12 £719.63 0.90%
Fit out by specialist trades £575.93 £583.04 -1.22%
General Construction £602.35 £576.72 4.44%
Insulation £709.75 £677.28 4.79%
Joinery £708.69 £633.37 11.89%
Mechanical £709.47 £607.00 16.88%
Plastering £592.56 £526.28 12.59%
Plumbing £826.14 £739.03 11.79%
Roofing £614.97 £576.95 6.59%
Scaffolding £586.03 £517.36 13.27%
Shopfitting £924.47 £809.06 14.26%
Steel & Timber frame erect £633.53 £593.76 6.70%
Surfacing contractors £613.12 £616.74 -0.59%
Average £663.89 £614.79 7.99%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £502.66 £408.36 23.09%
Civil Engineering £548.33 £478.26 14.65%
Demolition £514.58 £547.02 -5.93%
Electrical £607.00 £722.48 -15.98%
Equipment & Operator hire £552.53 £467.32 18.23%
Fit out by specialist trades £732.99 £665.57 10.13%
General Construction £606.16 £596.09 1.69%
Insulation £615.32 £632.84 -2.77%
Joinery £386.67 £374.39 3.28%
Mechanical £609.14 £629.38 -3.22%
Plastering £487.14 £563.06 -13.48%
Plumbing £599.33 £658.99 -9.05%
Roofing £540.44 £480.32 12.52%
Scaffolding £496.59 £480.50 3.35%
Shopfitting £859.89 £822.38 4.56%
Steel & Timber frame erect £770.27 £700.91 9.90%
Surfacing contractors £524.62 £460.63 13.89%
Average £585.51 £569.91 2.74%

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 April 2013.

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