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Mon April 22 2024

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Labour rates reach new high

10 Dec 21 Labour rates in construction have reached the highest level since December 2019 and hit all-time highs across London, the southeast, the southwest and Wales, according to analysis of the industry’s biggest payroll.

Average weekly earnings increased by 1.8 % to £944 during November 2021, the highest  November pay levels on record. Year-on-year, earnings were 4.7% higher than in November 2020.

The numbers come from Hudson Contract, a £1.6bn-turnover group, is the UK’s largest provider of tax status and employment contract services to the industry and has a client base of more than 2,500 construction SMEs.

Managing director Ian Anfield said: “Our analysis shows we are back in the normal cycle where the industry as a whole works more hours in the run-up to Christmas. Storm Barra may have lost us a few days and contractors are fighting to get the materials they need but we are still within the most productive time of the year. The festive season is coming up and people know January will be slow with bad weather.

Region November 2021 average Month-on-month % change Year-on-year % change
Northeast £757 -4.4% -7.3%
Northwest £869 2.5% 3.9%
Yorkshire and the Humber £899 2.2% 5.5%
East Midlands £1,006 3.3% 9.0%
West Midlands £979 5.2% 4.9%
Wales £968 3.1% 10.3%
East of England £989 -0.8% 0.5%
London £962 1.7% 6.1%
Southeast £992 1.8% 6.9%
Southwest £922 9.1% 10.8%

“The strong performance in the southwest and Wales reflects the increasing investment in housing and infrastructure as part of the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. In London and the southeast, growing demand for new housing and home improvements is feeding through to labour requirements and rates are catching up.

“Looking ahead, the removal of the red diesel rebate in April will hit groundworks contractors and quarrying companies the hardest and likely drive up material prices across the construction industry. The smaller and more agile firms on short-term contracts are able to react quickly and put their rates up as are the self-employed.”

November was a particularly good month for surfacing contractors, who enjoyed record earnings at £888 per week – the equivalent of £42,600 a year.

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