From: Charlie Carlton, digital director, IronmongeryDirect 

It’s been a volatile few years for the construction industry, and while new earnings data released by the Office for National Statistics today (November 14) certainly reflects this, there are also causes for optimism. 

The data shows that average wages rose in September by £19 a week, from £726 to £745, representing a 2.6% increase from the previous month. This was mainly due to bonus payments more than doubling, from £15 in August, to £31.  

This growth coincides with the recent increase in construction output, which was up 0.4% in September, largely thanks to a surge in repair and maintenance work (2.1%). 

While it is fantastic to see these positive numbers, it’s important to note that every wage increase reported this year has been followed by a fall the next month. This yo-yo pattern hints at the inconsistency the industry is experiencing in some areas, with external factors such as the cost of living crisis and soaring inflation rates preventing regular growth for the sector. 

However, the data is certainly moving in the right direction, with typical weekly income up 3.5% from this time last year. 

Furthermore, after months of decline, the number of job vacancies in the construction industry has started to increase once more, and rose from 34,000 (July-September) to 35,000 (August-October) in the latest figures. The fact that a growing number of companies are feeling confident enough to hire new workers is hopefully a sign that the industry is in a healthy position as we head into the colder months.

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