Contractors’ salary survey 2019: Not all about the money

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Wage inflation among contractors is subdued, constrained by wider economic uncertainty and doubts over major infrastructure projects

This year has not been the best for construction. Instead of record profits and pay rises to match, it’s been a year dogged by uncertainty, the thinnest of margins and constrained wage growth.

The crises hitting Galliford Try, Interserve and Kier in recent months symbolise the struggle of contractors to maintain profitability in the face of shrinking margins. Just last month Sir John Parker, the chair of Laing O’Rourke, described construction as being “in a troubled state” and warned that “a number of key lending banks have signalled their exit from the sector.” And KPMG recently warned that the number of construction companies going into administration rose by 55% in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous one.

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