Labour costs soar to all-time high in London

According to industry payroll specialist Hudson Contract, subbies also enjoyed record earnings in the East Midlands (£1,070) and the South West (£934).

Across England and Wales, earnings increased by 0.9% to £959, matching the all-time high seen in December. 

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “For pay to reach these levels at this time of year when building sites are usually dogged by bad weather suggests this is going to be strong year for workload and earnings.

“While there are still huge issues around inflation, fuel and materials which can only be made worse by the war in Ukraine, the construction industry is still running at full capacity. 

“People have built up cash reserves for deposits on new homes and renovation projects, developers are creating new models for shared ownership schemes and the housing sector has not yet replenished the supply that was lost after the financial crisis in 2007. 

“There is still huge pent-up demand for housing in the UK and there is still a shortage of skilled workers. Our clients are flat-out with full order books though as we saw in February, there are not quite as many tenders coming through the door.” 

Subcontractors who specialise in demolition and wrecking saw the biggest monthly increase at 8.1% to £938 per week, followed by shop fitting (5.3% at £1,096) and steel and timber frames (3.9% at £979). Plumbers enjoyed the highest earnings of all trades at £1,139 per week. 

Anfield said: “Some of our clients are finding they can pass on increases in costs to their clients, especially if their contracts include price escalation clauses.

“Others are having to suck it up. One of our groundworks customers are saying that inflation is running at 15% for them in labour, plant, red diesel and materials.”



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