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Thu April 24th 2014

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Sub-contractor Pay Trends May 2012

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indications of pay trends across the construction industry, using payroll data for over 1,600 construction companies and over 100,000 freelance builders to publish the average pay for the full spectrum of 17 different trades across five regions.

April is traditionally a month that heralds a ‘Construction Spring’: the green shoots start to show as new budgets are agreed and the spend for the year ahead is agreed.

But this year is different. Earnings across all five Hudson Contract regions are down, possibly due to the fact that the UK had almost double the amount of average rainfall during April – causing the weather to postpone spring for another four weeks, at least.

This month’s figures also highlight a disparity in certain trades from one region to another. For example:

  • Those involved in demolition in the North East average £298 a week, while their counterparts in the North West are on almost double at £591
  • Electricians in the South West are poor neighbours compared to those in North West with average earnings of £572 and £833 respectively
  • Looking across all regions, eight out of the 17 trades we monitor have a disparity of over £200

Bridging the earnings gap
An interesting trend emerges when we look back over the past three Aprils.

Hudson Contract Managing Director David Jackson comments: “As you would expect, the consistent factor is that average earnings are always highest in South East England. But take a look at the table, and see how the gap has narrowed.

Year South East Average Lowest Regional Average Difference
2010 £724.94 £523.56 £201.38
2011 £689.96 £562.09 £133.97
2012 £615.17 £544.73 £64.09

“Over the course of twenty-four months, the earnings differential between the South East and the North has plummeted by nearly 70%. I wonder if it is a case of freelance builders from the north moving south to get work and taking their average pay rates with them, or if the squeeze on costs is gradually being more evident in the South East? Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting trend, and one we will continue to monitor.”

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 2012. www.hudsoncontract.co.uk

North East

Field Last month 3 months ago % shift o/12 wks
Bricklaying  £359.28  £415.31 -13.49%
Civil Engineering  £595.54  £608.89 -2.19%
Demolition  £298.48  £367.63 -18.81%
Electrical  £685.33  £621.00 10.36%
Equipment & Operator hire  £479.10  £534.85 -10.42%
Fit out by specialist trades  £594.00  £655.89 -9.44%
General Construction  £525.22  £573.68 -8.45%
Insulation  £613.42  £609.27 0.68%
Joinery  £410.00  £506.13 -18.99%
Mechanical  £561.15  £639.09 -12.20%
Plastering  £511.28  £597.89 -14.49%
Plumbing  £583.03  £599.39 -2.73%
Roofing  £550.51  £478.02 15.16%
Scaffolding  £457.03  £455.32 0.38%
Shopfitting  £731.01  £744.98 -1.88%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £701.39  £719.65 -2.54%
Surfacing contractors  £604.59  £602.19 0.40%
Average  £544.73  £572.30 -4.82%

North West

Field Last month 3 months ago % shift o/12 wks
Bricklaying  £424.14  £462.86 -8.37%
Civil Engineering  £555.26  £558.38 -0.56%
Demolition  £591.46  £623.07 -5.07%
Electrical  £833.39  £813.83 2.40%
Equipment & Operator hire  £556.10  £626.13 -11.18%
Fit out by specialist trades  £808.54  £856.27 -5.57%
General Construction  £534.76  £583.39 -8.34%
Insulation  £630.23  £580.85 8.50%
Joinery  £599.87  £496.13 20.91%
Mechanical  £515.98  £474.74 8.69%
Plastering  £490.44  £484.82 1.16%
Plumbing  £576.23  £575.29 0.16%
Roofing  £699.71  £704.86 -0.73%
Scaffolding  £443.80  £436.63 1.64%
Shopfitting  £734.42  £877.57 -16.31%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £575.43  £557.69 3.18%
Surfacing contractors  £631.00  £654.82 -3.64%
Average  £600.04  £609.84 -1.61%

Midlands

Field Last month 3 months ago % shift o/12 wks
Bricklaying  £494.54  £511.28 -3.27%
Civil Engineering  £637.42  £632.58 0.77%
Demolition  £548.44  £574.18 -4.48%
Electrical  £642.52  £624.17 2.94%
Equipment & Operator hire  £515.96  £530.16 -2.68%
Fit out by specialist trades  £534.34  £480.58 11.19%
General Construction  £529.92  £563.71 -5.99%
Insulation  £541.52  £502.06 7.86%
Joinery  £639.46  £650.06 -1.63%
Mechanical  £752.41  £947.96 -20.63%
Plastering  £675.14  £764.89 -11.73%
Plumbing  £578.46  £569.56 1.56%
Roofing  £472.35  £408.35 15.67%
Scaffolding  £482.24  £500.20 -3.59%
Shopfitting  £936.36  £937.82 -0.16%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £696.06  £792.51 -12.17%
Surfacing contractors  £601.05  £606.42 -0.89%
Average  £604.60  £623.32 -3.00%

South East

Field Last month 3 months ago % shift o/12 wks
Bricklaying  £524.86  £509.64 2.99%
Civil Engineering  £628.82  £612.49 2.67%
Demolition  £492.16  £526.76 -6.57%
Electrical  £695.95  £765.67 -9.11%
Equipment & Operator hire  £604.50  £655.26 -7.75%
Fit out by specialist trades  £621.16  £719.35 -13.65%
General Construction  £587.53  £622.33 -5.59%
Insulation  £694.74  £729.90 -4.82%
Joinery  £575.98  £642.10 -10.30%
Mechanical  £711.28  £612.66 16.10%
Plastering  £602.26  £647.02 -6.92%
Plumbing  £817.30  £789.99 3.46%
Roofing  £518.48  £569.62 -8.98%
Scaffolding  £565.70  £582.11 -2.82%
Shopfitting  £760.89  £732.57 3.87%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £502.01  £535.93 -6.33%
Surfacing contractors  £554.28  £565.19 -1.93%
Average  £615.17  £636.39 -3.33%

South West

Field Last month 3 months ago % shift o/12 wks
Bricklaying  £469.97  £418.26 12.36%
Civil Engineering  £459.14  £544.81 -15.72%
Demolition  £582.41  £560.27 3.95%
Electrical  £572.25  £621.44 -7.92%
Equipment & Operator hire  £554.99  £488.17 13.69%
Fit out by specialist trades  £725.79  £697.38 4.07%
General Construction  £586.04  £564.26 3.86%
Insulation  £651.98  £632.91 3.01%
Joinery  £385.03  £423.15 -9.01%
Mechanical  £673.75  £775.00 -13.06%
Plastering  £605.67  £763.56 -20.68%
Plumbing  £700.28  £605.84 15.59%
Roofing  £579.97  £535.68 8.27%
Scaffolding  £537.15  £552.60 -2.80%
Shopfitting  £939.43  £882.67 6.43%
Steel & Timber frame erect  £712.78  £757.60 -5.92%
Surfacing contractors  £482.71  £506.33 -4.66%
Average  £601.14  £607.64 -1.07%