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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: October 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.

Last month, when labour-only subbies earnings dipped by two per cent – £17 a week – on average, Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield said there was no need to panic, even in the face of national headlines predicting tough times ahead in construction.

A few may have been sceptical, but it turns out Ian’s view was correct. 

All regions have now bounced back, with national average pay more than bouncing back, by over 3.5%, which is roughly £31 a week.

Freelance builders in the North East have gained the most, earning over £50 a week more than before, with those in Yorkshire & Humber and the West Midlands not far behind.

National Weekly Average Earnings October 2017: £866

Region October 2017 Average Change from September 2017
North East £761.00 +6.70%
North West £758.00 +0.92%
Yorkshire & Humber £823.00 +5.47%
East Midlands £888.00 +1.58%
West Midlands £898.00 +4.57%
Wales £781.00 +3.07%
East of England £937.00 +3.09%
London £868.00 +3.80%
South East £880.00 +3.30%
South West £796.00 +4.90%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Individual Trades - Winners and Losers:

This month’s winners are:

  • Insulation:  +9.5%
    Extremely strong gains in the North
  • Joinery:  +7.0%
    Good times for joiners across the nation
  • Bricklaying:  +6.9%
    Construction’s traditional barometer

 

And the losers – but not by much:

  • Steel & Timber Frame Erection:  -2.6%
    Wales and East Midlands feeling the pinch
  • Plumbing:  -1.0%
    A small lull before the traditional winter increases
  • Demolition & Wrecking:  -0.4%
    Down by £4 per week

“The lead up to Christmas is always a busy time for construction,” Ian Anfield comments.  “We’re seeing record numbers of contracts come in from clients old and new.  As always, and by way of anticipation, we continue to improve our processes to ensure we have plenty of capacity to respond to the increased demand that demonstrates our clients are busy and prospering.”

Nationwide, and in a swift U-turn from last month, the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has bounced back into optimistic territory – defying the economists’ expectations – after particularly strong growth in the house building sector outweighed soft performance in civils and commercial projects.

“I’m not saying everything is perfect in construction,” Ian Anfield adds.  “Let’s see what happens with the Autumn Budget – and hope the very real issues faced by  SMEs in construction, such as rising costs and ongoing uncertainty around EU nationals working on UK projects, are addressed.  We are all living in the shadow of continuing Brexit uncertainty and construction forecasts for 2018 are mostly cautious.  I think house building will continue to drive growth and that until we know where we are with the EU negotiations, office developments and other commercial activities will continue to slow.  For now, though, the usual end-of-the-year surge in activity seems to be underway, and we are all hoping the weather will continue to be kind.”

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 2017.

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