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London and North West labour rates rise for third month

Skilled self-employed labour rates have risen for the third month running in London and the North West.

Average weekly earnings for self-employed tradespeople in London increased by 1.8% to £938 during September while in the North West, earnings increased by 3.3% to £887.

According to the industry’s biggest employment contract services firm, Hudson Contract, the two areas have become pinch points for this skills shortage, while across the rest of country as a whole, pay rates actually dipped in September.

Across all regions average wages dipped by 1.7 % to £913 last month, while year-on-year earnings increased by 4.7%.

The East Midlands remained the region where self-employed trades commanded the highest pay despite a small fall last month.

Ian Anfield, managing director, said: “We estimate that through Covid the industry has been short of as many as 140,000 tradespeople, or 10% down on where we could have been, which has helped drive up labour rates in the face of high demand.

“Skills shortages – once an acute regional problem – has been exacerbated across the country by the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).”

Official statistics show construction workers claimed grants worth £966m in the last round of SEISS, which covered the period to September 15 2021.

In total, the sector has claimed grants worth nearly £11bn through the scheme which would amount to hundreds of millions of man hours.

Anfield added: “As SEISS ends, many will return to work but because huge infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point and HS2 are in full swing, government departments have accelerated ‘shovel-ready’ projects and the ongoing housing and domestic work, demand will continue to outstrip supply.”


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