Weekly earnings for self-employed plumbing contractors fell last month, according to the latest figures released by Hudson Contract.

Analysis of May payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a 3.2% decline to an average of £1,081.

This follows a reported 0.5% decline in April of this year.

Plumbing remains among the best paid of all 17 construction trades covered by Hudson Contract and was second only to shop-fitters, last month’s highest earners at £1,106.

The regional picture is mixed. Plumbers in the West Midlands saw weekly earnings rise by 9.9% to £985, followed by the South West, up 6.8% to a very healthy £1,540, and the South East, up 1.8% rise to £1,105.

Plumbers in Yorkshire and the Humber saw the biggest fall in weekly earnings, down 8.6% to £623, followed by the North West, down 5% to £750, and the East Midlands, down 4.9% to £1,115.

Ian Anfield, Managing Director of Hudson Contract, said: “Some clients are saying there is less work in the pipeline, which is allowing them to take a more controlled approach to ongoing projects. Consequently, freelance tradespeople are doing fewer hours and this is being reflected in their weekly earnings.

“Plumbing remains one of the most sought-after trades and skilled contractors earned an average of £1,081 per week in May, which is a great advertisement for young people who want to learn the trade, be their own boss and enjoy the rewards of being a valued supplier.”