The year has got off to a busy start for UK tradespeople, according to recent research from Screwfix.

Ninety-seven percent of the tradespeople questioned in Screwfix’s Trade Pulse report are currently working. Nearly one in six are so busy they have more work than they can handle and 78% have enough work to keep them busy, compared with 74% for the same period last year and only 72% in 2013.

Qualified plumbers are optimistic for the future, with 59% believing business will improve for them in the next 12 months. The optimism they are feeling for their own business is also mirrored in their feelings about the general economy, as 53% think it will grow in the next 12 months.

“2015 has got off to a buoyant start for UK tradesmen, with many taking on more work year-on-year,” said Andrew Livingston, chief executive officer of Screwfix’s sister company Plumbfix.

“This trend has also come through other measures, such as the latest construction growth figures. With so many tradesmen reporting that they’re currently in work, expecting to get busier through the year and brightly looking ahead to the future, we are focused on continuing to help them where we can to build on their current business success.”

According to Mr Livingston, things are looking promising for Plumbfix itself this year. “We’ve committed to opening more than 50 new stores across the UK and creating an additional 900 jobs in 2015,” he explained. “These investments are designed to offer our trade customers more choice of how and where to shop, whether online, over the phone or in store.”