BCIS publishes labour wage indices for construction from data provided by Hays Recruitment. The values for the second quarter 2020 are based on a reduced number of job placements in the industry due to lock-down. The number of placements is approximately 30% down on the second quarter of 2019, reflecting reduced activity in the sector. The reduction in numbers of placements is particularly marked in the traditional building trades.
The Hays/BCIS Labour Wage Indices will continue to be published but the reduced volume of placements brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic means that index figures will be less reliable than before. The reduction in numbers of placements is particularly marked in the traditional building trades.
Wage rates for Skilled Trades fell in the second quarter 2020 while Unskilled and Semi-skilled Labour and M&E Trades show a slight increase, Plant operatives remains flat. The sample includes construction labour regardless of the type of project they are employed on and in the case of M&E trades, it may be that higher costs in this area are associated with the deep cleaning of office spaces which involves the cleansing of M&E systems. The increase may reflect increased perception of risk associated with this work.
Amongst the Unskilled and Semi-skilled Labour category there are a number of job titles associated with covid-19 site working arrangements such as “Covid Coordinator”. The costs of these posts are likely to be reflected in the thickening of preliminaries costs noted in the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) guidance on cost adjustments for covid-19 working conditions.