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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: September 2013

News and Views | 17th September 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.

It’s been a bumper summer for freelance builders across the country, with earnings up for the third month in a row across all five regions.

“Last time this happened was between July and September 2012,” comments Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson. “It’s down to the fact , at least in part, that we had a proper summer with prolonged sunny weather, which is always good news for construction.”

Labour-only subbies in the Midlands have done particularly well, with average increases of over 8% on three months ago – which works out at over £40 a week.

David Jackson adds: “Every single trade in the Midlands shows a rise this month, and we haven’t seen that sort of consistency since July 2010, when again it was in the Midlands.”

Big winners in the region this month include bricklayers, plumbers and those in the specialist trade sectors – all with increases above 15%. Significant increases in other parts of the country include:

  • Demolition in the South-East:  +20%
  • Equipment & Operator Hire in the North-West:  +16%
  • Bricklayers in the North-East:  +14%

Does the construction recession finally end here?

Hudson Contract’s pay trends are reflected by the latest Construction PMI survey, which records that construction sector output has hit a six year high, with the ‘Confidence Index’ jumping to from 57 in July to 59.1 in August – its highest level since September 2007 – with some economists calling this a ‘New Dawn’ for the economy in general and construction in particular.

House building activity is seeing particular improvement – with new completions up 30% on this time last year – and there has also been a steep acceleration in civil engineering works.

“At the very least, construction has been making hay while the sun shines,” David Jackson says. “While the best case is that this month has seen a genuine turning point in the construction industry. There is now a definite positive trend, and we can only hope that it continues into the autumn.”

NORTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £572.40 £501.49 14.14%
Civil Engineering £600.16 £554.84 8.17%
Demolition £436.83 £392.73 11.23%
Electrical £724.43 £646.51 12.05%
Equipment & Operator hire £562.67 £571.41 -1.53%
Fit out by specialist trades £781.85 £699.58 11.76%
General Construction £593.34 £557.46 6.44%
Insulation £629.95 £635.64 -0.90%
Joinery £557.63 £500.21 11.48%
Mechanical £691.03 £647.35 6.75%
Plastering £614.86 £663.50 -7.33%
Plumbing £601.42 £611.37 -1.63%
Roofing £535.89 £613.20 -12.61%
Scaffolding £488.07 £472.63 3.27%
Shopfitting £581.64 £634.01 -8.26%
Steel & Timber frame erect £734.27 £673.76 8.98%
Surfacing contractors £548.44 £541.69 1.25%
Average £603.23 £583.38 3.40%

NORTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £520.46 £468.41 11.11%
Civil Engineering £570.58 £547.23 4.27%
Demolition £723.72 £797.43 -9.24%
Electrical £746.85 £651.43 14.65%
Equipment & Operator hire £717.63 £620.07 15.73%
Fit out by specialist trades £682.20 £718.83 -5.10%
General Construction £581.58 £563.17 3.27%
Insulation £748.26 £626.09 19.51%
Joinery £630.78 £569.30 10.80%
Mechanical £518.35 £456.60 13.52%
Plastering £559.94 £499.62 12.07%
Plumbing £621.68 £608.63 2.14%
Roofing £668.56 £641.68 4.19%
Scaffolding £459.27 £408.08 12.54%
Shopfitting £893.26 £791.21 12.90%
Steel & Timber frame erect £649.92 £702.13 -7.44%
Surfacing contractors £676.80 £596.50 13.46%
Average £645.28 £603.91 6.85%

MIDLANDS

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £519.26 £433.45 19.80%
Civil Engineering £662.41 £644.62 2.76%
Demolition £578.39 £505.08 14.51%
Electrical £656.53 £646.91 1.49%
Equipment & Operator hire £618.68 £607.03 1.92%
Fit out by specialist trades £654.11 £558.42 17.14%
General Construction £638.64 £601.41 6.19%
Insulation £742.16 £666.60 11.34%
Joinery £691.13 £664.34 4.03%
Mechanical £736.46 £699.41 5.30%
Plastering £613.91 £568.05 8.07%
Plumbing £747.61 £644.05 16.08%
Roofing £480.63 £423.06 13.61%
Scaffolding £594.00 £573.85 3.51%
Shopfitting £848.47 £812.14 4.47%
Steel & Timber frame erect £814.63 £774.76 5.15%
Surfacing contractors £709.08 £618.20 14.70%
Average £665.06 £614.20 8.28%

SOUTH EAST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £550.40 £532.86 3.29%
Civil Engineering £666.29 £635.47 4.85%
Demolition £615.08 £509.27 20.78%
Electrical £877.76 £807.18 8.74%
Equipment & Operator hire £764.10 £730.65 4.58%
Fit out by specialist trades £665.73 £601.08 10.76%
General Construction £629.91 £585.39 7.61%
Insulation £756.69 £708.41 6.82%
Joinery £875.44 £744.76 17.55%
Mechanical £717.32 £700.42 2.41%
Plastering £643.54 £576.07 11.71%
Plumbing £756.01 £837.61 -9.74%
Roofing £561.64 £592.88 -5.27%
Scaffolding £622.16 £602.35 3.29%
Shopfitting £876.81 £889.98 -1.48%
Steel & Timber frame erect £561.41 £574.65 -2.30%
Surfacing contractors £560.61 £603.62 -7.13%
Average £688.29 £660.74 4.17%

SOUTH WEST

  Last Month 3 months ago % change
Bricklaying £480.67 £507.61 -5.31%
Civil Engineering £569.09 £549.70 3.53%
Demolition £645.18 £616.53 4.65%
Electrical £581.04 £678.12 -14.32%
Equipment & Operator hire £571.61 £528.24 8.21%
Fit out by specialist trades £653.38 £703.56 -7.13%
General Construction £589.13 £620.71 -5.09%
Insulation £627.38 £629.87 -0.40%
Joinery £474.78 £479.85 -1.06%
Mechanical £583.78 £591.58 -1.32%
Plastering £527.60 £547.35 -3.61%
Plumbing £608.60 £581.17 4.72%
Roofing £564.70 £553.61 2.00%
Scaffolding £608.56 £555.45 9.56%
Shopfitting £896.84 £832.88 7.68%
Steel & Timber frame erect £731.08 £745.43 -1.93%
Surfacing contractors £508.32 £475.65 6.87%
Average £601.28 £599.84 0.24%

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 31st August 2013.

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