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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 2016

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.

Earnings are up everywhere this month.  And the East of England leads the way, becoming the first region to jump above the £900-a-week threshold.

In stark comparison to last month, Wales shows the strongest earnings increase in October – up by 7.1%, or £57 a week.  And even though the North-West trails the list with ‘only’ a 2.7% rise, this still equates to an increase of over £20 per week.

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield comments:  “This is good news, although – despite continuing post-Brexit uncertainty – not entirely unexpected.  The last quarter of the year traditionally sees an uplift in outputs, as projects are targeted to be completed before Christmas.  And talking to our clients, many firms still expect business to increase over the next 12 months.  So here’s hoping for another mild winter.”

National Weekly Average Earnings October 2016: £842

Region October 2016 Average Change from September 2016
North East £722.00 +4.57%
North West £766.00 +2.74%
Yorkshire & Humber £779.00 +2.82%
East Midlands £859.00 +3.84%
West Midlands £859.00 +4.77%
Wales £804.00 +7.09%
East of England £914.00 +4.16%
London £862.00 +4.41%
South East £855.00 +4.09%
South West £744.00 +4.78%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Winners and Losers:

Nationally this month’s winners are:

  • Insulation+7.5%

Boosted by some big gains in the South East and East of England

  • Shopfitters+6.2%

Particularly strong growth in the North East & Yorkshire and Humber

  • Joiners:   +6%

East Midlands and London lead the way

At the other of the scale, this month’s biggest losers haven’t lost too much, with earnings down by less than one per cent:

  • Plastering:  -0.9%
  • M&E:  -0.5%
  • Scaffolding:  -0.6%

Looking at the wider perspective, the latest Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index also increased slightly in October, echoing the general positive sentiment around the industry.  Residential building work is still driving the increase outperforming commercial, which remained stable during October, and civil engineering, which fell slightly.

“One note of caution,” Ian Anfield adds.  “The cost of building materials is back on the increase, with prices paid rising at the second-fastest price since before the London Olympics.  If that trend continues, and the signs are that it will, then firms will come under pressure with margins squeezed and fixed-price contracts affecting profitability.”

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 October 2016.