Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect, said:
“The construction industry has been hit hard in the last few years, and its latest challenge comes in the form of the rising cost of living, with workers receiving pay increases that pale in comparison to the soaring inflation rate.
“The latest ONS data shows that construction wages are up 4% compared to the previous month (£722 a week vs £696), however the Bank of England states that inflation is currently at 10.1% – more than double the increase seen in our sector.
“This means that despite income rising, employees will be worse off than they were earlier in the year.
“The situation in the Electricity, Gas and Water Supply space is even bleaker, with four consecutive months of pay decreases. Average weekly earnings now stand at £757, down 1% from August, and 7% from June.
“Nationally, across the whole economy, pay increased by 1% in September, up to £609, but this is thanks to a rise in the public sector (5%). In contrast, private sector wages fell by 0.2%.
“In more positive news for UK construction, the number of unemployed individuals fell to its lowest figure since records began almost 28 years ago. The statistic has been falling since April, and dropped by a further 14% in July-September, down to 31,000.
“Compared to this time last year, the number of unemployed construction workers has almost halved (49% decrease).
“While this is great news for the industry – as job vacancies are also at record levels – if the inflation rate doesn’t start to drop, it is going to be a difficult few months for many. With energy and food prices rising, the wage increases seen recently won’t stretch far, so it will be interesting to see what measures the government announce this week to help tackle inflation.
“As we know from previous recessions, consistent availability, fair pricing of materials and reliable service from suppliers will be vital for tradespeople to continue to operate under tough economic conditions, which is why dedicated specialists such as IronmongeryDirect will play an important role in keeping the industry moving.”
For more information on IronmongeryDirect, click here
For more information on ElectricalDirect, click here