Average weekly earnings reached £1,095 in December, the highest level since the start of the pandemic and 9.4% higher than the same month in 2020. The previous high was £1,179 in February 2020 in the weeks before the first lockdown, according to an analysis carried out by Hudson Contract.

Ian Anfield, Managing Director, said: “We capped off 2021 with the highest earnings for plumbing contractors since the start of the pandemic.

“As we have seen year after year, we usually see earnings fall back in January because people will be working fewer hours. We then expect a steady rise in earnings to reach December levels by April."

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indication of subcontractor pay trends across the construction industry, publishing the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades split across 10 regions in England and Wales. It supplies statistics to the Bank of England to keep policymakers updated with real-time insights on demand for skilled labour.