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Tue May 11 2021

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Northeast construction workers have the most disposable income

14 Jan Average salaries in the UK construction industry fell by 2% in 2020 according to an analysis by a recruitment firm, which is harder for some than for others.

Construction professionals across a range of on-site and office-based roles secured an average salary of £44,115 in 2020, compared to £44,999 in 2019.

However, thanks to previous pay rises, 2020 salaries were still 12% higher than in 2016.  

The analysis also indicates that while pay may better in the southeast, those in the northeast are actually better off financially.

According to research into 7,500 permanent placed construction jobs and current vacancies from specialist recruiter Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering, candidates seeking construction roles can have up to 50% of their salary remaining after household and essential expenses by securing a job in the northeast of England, where average salaries are just above the national average at £45,875.

But in London, on the other hand, although workers average £50,630 a year, monthly expenses of £2,861 continue to outstrip the rest of the country, meaning workers there are left with just 10% of their salary at the end of the month.

Construction professionals in northwest can expect to have 32% of their pay left after household expenditure and housing costs. In  Yorkshire & Humberside the figure is 25%.  

Table 1: Average salaries and household expenses in 2020

Location Average salary in the construction sector Average monthly take-home salary Household expenditure (monthly per person) Private rental prices (monthly) Average mortgage payments (monthly) Affordability index – percentage of earnings remaining after expenses
North East £45,875 £2,902 £936 £549 £504 50%
East Midlands £49,370 £3,101 £1001 £625 £655 45%
West Midlands £42,500 £2,712 £893 £679 £777 40%
North West £36,033 £2,184 £958 £642 £740 32%
East of England £46,929 £2,963 £1062 £627 £658 31%
Yorkshire & Humberside £39,584 £2,145 £1014 £807 £1,014 25%
South East £46,639 £2,946 £1213 £848 £1,109 21%
South West £39,477 £2,340 £1127 £982 £1,248 20%
London £50,631 £3,167 £1135 £1,639 £1,812 10%

Not everyone’s pay went down in 2020 though. Site managers saw their average salaries increase on the year by 5.9%, with workers able to secure an average salary of £56,526. Site managers in Yorkshire & Humberside averaged £62,966; London based roles got just £54,583.

Table 2: Average site manager salaries and household expenses in 2020

Location Average site manager salaries in 2020 Average monthly take-home salary Household expenditure (monthly per person) Private rental prices (monthly) Average mortgage payments (monthly) Affordability index – percentage of earnings remaining after expenses
North East £55,480 £3,402 £936 £549 £504 57%
Yorkshire & Humberside £62,966 £3,763 £1014 £625 £655 56%
West Midlands £57,075 £3,477 £893 £679 £777 53%
East Midlands £57,062 £3,478 £1001 £642 £740 51%
North West £49,000 £3,080 £958 £627 £658 48%
South West £57,774 £3,512 £1127 £807 £1,014 42%
East of England £55,293 £3,393 £1062 £848 £1,109 40%
South East £59,500 £3,596 £1213 £982 £1,248 35%
London £54,583 £3,358 £1135 £1,639 £1,812 15%

Owen Goodhead, chief operating officer of Randstad, said: “Construction salaries experienced a small decrease in 2020, likely linked to uncertainty around projects due to Covid-19 and Brexit. However, the commitment to keeping the construction industry open, demonstrates the importance of the sector to the local and national economy and as a result the ongoing demand we will see for skilled professionals.

 “In addition to analysing 7,500 placed construction jobs, we also spoke to over 2,000 construction professionals currently seeking job roles, and found that salary continues to be the biggest driver to decision making. Over half of candidates are willing to relocate for the right job, rising to 76% if a company contributes to relocation costs, so there is a clear opportunity for hiring managers seeking to attract the best talent in the sector. Salaries should be considered alongside the cost of living, house prices and rental prices though, as these all contribute to the amount of disposable income in workers’ pockets – and these have been rising.

 “Lifestyle priorities shifted in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, with many reassessing where they want to live, the home they live in and the importance of a sense of community. January is typically the time of year when people reconsider their jobs. Employers seeking skilled construction professionals should consider the wider lifestyle benefits and possibility of tempting new skilled recruits through additional incentives such as relocation packages.”

He added: “Our analysis has shone a light on the earning and saving potential for professionals in the construction sector. Access to labour is driving up salaries in certain parts of the country, and when you consider workers will enjoy a better cost of living outside of the capital, there is a real risk to retaining and attracting talent in London and the southeast.”

Got a story? Email news@theconstructionindex.co.uk

MPU

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