Weekly earnings for freelance tradespeople in the construction sector bounced back last month, according to latest figures released by Hudson Contract.

Analysis of June payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a 6.8 per cent month-on-month increase to an average of £893.

The strong performance for the month reverses the 5.5 per cent fall seen in May.

The North East region was the biggest winner with weekly earnings rising by 10 per cent to £770, followed by Yorkshire and Humber, up 8.9 per cent to £842, and the South West, up 8.8 per cent to £801.

Weekly earnings for June showed a 4.6 per cent improvement compared to the same month in 2018.

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indication of sub-contractor pay trends across the construction industry, publishing the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades split across 10 regions in England and Wales.

Region June 2019


Month on Month

% Change

Year on Year

% Change

North East £770 10.0% -0.9%
North West £848 6.3% 12.5%
Yorkshire and the Humber £842 8.9% 5.0%
East Midlands £883 4.3% 3.9%
West Midlands £931 6.0% 1.7%
Wales £812 6.0% 4.4%
East of England £930 6.5% 2.5%
London £914 7.2% 7.5%
South East £904 7.0% 3.7%
South West £801 8.8% 3.8%


Mechanical and electrical engineers in the East Midlands topped the table in June, with weekly earnings rising 2.1 per cent to an average of £1,925.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Weekly earnings for every trade rose by last month, a welcome return to growth after the fall in May.

“Freelance tradespeople are the lifeblood of the construction industry, providing specialist and flexible labour to contractors.

“Without their vital contribution to projects, it would be far more challenging for construction businesses to be competitive, productive and innovative.

“Our monthly Pay Trends reports show that skilled freelancers earn a premium for their services and highlight the many opportunities for young people to enter the industry.

“For example, a subcontractor specialising in mechanical and engineering work is earning the equivalent of a £100,000 salary in the East Midlands.”

The findings correspond with the latest IHS Markit / CIPS purchasing managers index for the construction industry which reports that demand for construction staff was relatively resilient in June.

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