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Freelance Builder Pay Trends: September 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.

There’s been a noticeable drop in earnings for September of just over two per cent, or £17 a week, with freelance builders in the North-West particularly hard hit – earnings there have plummeted by over 5%, which equates to a drop of £40 a week.  Only the East Midlands has bucked the trend, with a modest one percent increase on last months.

“It’s an amber light, for sure,” says Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield.  “And our data is also indicative of the national picture.  Whilst it’s never good for anyone to see a downward trend, September earnings have dropped for the past three years, ahead of a strong finish to the end of the year.  So let’s not panic just yet.” 

National Weekly Average Earnings September 2017: £835

Region September 2017 Average Change from August 2017
North East £710.00 -4.23%
North West £751.00 -5.19%
Yorkshire & Humber £778.00 -3.21%
East Midlands £874.00 +0.80%
West Midlands £857.00 -2.22%
Wales £757.00 -2.25%
East of England £908.00 -2.42%
London £835.00 -1.56%
South East £851.00 -0.71%
South West £757.00 -0.40%

To view our interactive pay trends map click here

Individual Trades - Winners and Losers:

This month’s winners are:

  • Shopfitting:  +3.3%
    Another strong month
  • Roofing+0.6%
    Wales doing particularly well

And the losers:

  • Plasterers:  -8.8%
    Losses in East of England despite gains in London

  • Steel & Timber Frame Erection:  -7.6%
    Down for the second successive month

  • Specialist Trades:  -6.2%
    Yorkshire & Humber light on work

Meanwhile, the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has fallen to 48.1.  “That’s significant,” Ian Anfield observes.  “Anything below 50 signifies negative growth, and this is the first time it’s happened since the referendum.  September has been a difficult month for all in construction.  New projects have failed to materialise to replace completed contracts.” 

Of construction’s three sectors, civil engineering has been worst affected with the steepest fall in activity for four and half years.  Commercial is down too, leaving house building as the only sector that continued to expand – although at its slowest rate for six months.

“There’s no point pretending anyone is happy about this,” Ian Anfield concludes.  “But despite the uncertainty that continues to surround British politics in general and Brexit in particular, compared to this time last year, earnings in all regions are up.  The final quarter of the year is going to be extremely important in terms of understanding where the industry – and the country – is going in economic terms.”

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 September 2017.

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