Construction wages ‘fall as housing construction slows’

Wages on construction sites fell 10% during the month of January, according to payroll company Hudson Contract.

Strong pre-Christmas demand meant homebuilders had their “foot on the ground” at the end of last year, said Hudson Contract chief executive Ian Anfield.

But homebuilders have since slowed their activity, dampening the demand for workers.

“It seems homebuilders are worried about the impact of inflation and the ability of potential buyers to borrow money to buy the homes they’re going to build,” he said. This pushed wages down in January.

Hudson Contract data covers 2,500 SMEs working in the construction sector.

The decline in wages has not spread to all areas. City Site Solutions recruitment consultant Jack Burrows said he hasn’t seen salaries go down and expects them to rise further as the year progresses.

“I strongly expect wages to rise again this summer, again pushing the year-over-year percentage higher,” he said.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) chief executive Alasdair Reisner also said the sector was still affected by high labor costs and material shortages, which were expected to cause “significant pressure” to entrepreneurs this year.

“Entrepreneurs are also facing cost increases due to energy costs and the upcoming removal of the red diesel rebate,” he added. “We are working with our members and all industry stakeholders to ensure these pressures are mitigated, so that UK civil contractors can provide the infrastructure that businesses and communities rely on across all regions. from the United Kingdom.”

Burrows warned that contractors face hiring people at significantly higher costs than they might have quoted when bidding.

The sector has been struggling with labor shortages for more than a year now, with trade contractors warning in December that they are more concerned about recruiting labor than any other issue facing the sector is facing by 2022.

Vacancies in the construction sector remained high at the end of 2021, with 42,000 jobs vacant in the three months to the end of December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Alice F. Ponder