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Demand for trades defies Brexit uncertainty

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract

Earnings for freelance tradespeople in the construction sector declined by just 1.7 per cent last month, according to latest figures released by Hudson Contract.

Analysis of August payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a weekly average of £904 for subcontractors.

Demand remains strong for specialist trades with average earnings 2.2 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Our regional breakdown shows the North East and South West reported growth in average earnings last month. Wales saw the biggest fall with average earnings down 3.7 per cent.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “National trade surveys suggest lower volumes of work across the construction sector in response to the ongoing economic and political uncertainty.

“Businesses want Brexit settled one way or another so they can get on with delivering the housing and infrastructure that Britain needs.

“The latest purchasing managers index for the construction industry shows housebuilding activity fell only slightly last month while some companies reported tight labour market conditions had encouraged retention of skilled workers.

“Underlying demand remains strong for skilled tradespeople to build new roads, railways and homes and our analysis shows self-employed specialists are earning a premium for their services.”

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.