Home Business NewsBusiness Lack of EU workers drives up London’s construction costs

Lack of EU workers drives up London’s construction costs

by LLB Editor
17th Jun 21 2:23 pm

Average earnings on London building sites showed a 4.5 per cent month-on-month increase in May to £885 a week, according to construction payroll data from Hudson Contract.

The firm is the UK’s largest payer of freelance site workers with more than 2,500 companies across England and Wales on its books.

Managing director Ian Anfield attributed wage inflation in the capital to a reduction in migrant EU labour.

“We are starting to see the impact of people leaving the UK ahead of the EU settlement scheme deadline on 30th June and not being replaced by incomers,” he said.

“First and foremost, this is affecting London which has the highest concentration of foreign construction workers and the most transient labour market.”

He said central London’s prime housing market was growing again for the first time since the start of the pandemic reflecting “high spirits” across the sector.

The company’s data showed site workers weekly wages outside London were buoyant too with the East Midlands showing a month-on-month 1.7 per cent rise on weekly earnings to £954 – a 17.2 year-on-year increase.

The West Midlands was another hotspot with sub-contractors weekly earnings increasing month-on-month by 3.5 per cent to £920 in May. Significant housebuilding and major infrastructure projects in Birmingham such as H2 and facilities for the Commonwealth Games next year had fuelled wages.

Wales showed a month-on-month 2.8 per cent increase brining weekly earnings to £887 – a 8.7 per cent year-on-year rise.

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