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Sat April 20 2024

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Demand for labour drives earnings growth

12 Mar 21 Demand for skilled labour on UK building sites rebounded strongly in February, according to a leading employer of site workers.

Hudson Contract, which describes itself as the construction industry’s biggest payer of subcontractors, reports that average weekly earnings for freelance tradespeople increased by 6.1% in February compared to January.

It is normal for earnings to increase in February as the industry hits its stride after slowing down for Christmas and the New year. While February 2021 earnings were 4% down on February 2020, the total represent continuing recovery from the Covid crisis.

Hudson supplies professional services to more than 2,500 construction SMEs and has a turnover of £1.6bn.

Managing director Ian Anfield said: “We are seeing growing demand for skilled labour on building sites across England and Wales. Many of our clients are in the housebuilding sector and are reporting full order books. Interest rates are at a near record low, latest Bank of England data show the mortgage market is strong and the government is committed to new infrastructure spending.”

He added: “Considering the UK economy shrank by nearly 10% during 2020, this shows the powerful underlying demand for skilled labour. The construction industry continues to offer great earning potential for people who want to start or switch careers.”

Steel and timber frame contractors had the best month with weekly earnings growing by 17.1% to £934 in February, followed by joiners, up 13.4% to £1,038, and electricians, up 12.7% to £1,088.

The best-performing regions for earnings growth were the northeast, up 10.6%, the east of England, up 10.4% and the south east, up 8.2%, according to Hudson data.

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