SOTS Q2 2023 Frontcover

For more than 30 years, the FMB's State of Trade Survey has monitored key indicators and predicted future short-term developments in the UK construction industry.

It is the only survey of its kind to focus exclusively on micro, small and medium-sized (SME) firms throughout the construction sector.

Market conditions

  • Increase in total workload and enquires is primarily driven by a continued strong rebound in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector.
  • Overall, 40% of members reported an increase in workload, with only 18% reporting a reduction compared to last quarter.
  • House building workloads and enquiries continue to struggle with more members reporting a decrease than increase.


  • Overall, difficulty in recruitment is easing, however;
  • 38% of members are struggling to hire carpenters with 29% struggling to hire bricklayers.
  • A quarter of members can’t get hold of general labourers.
  • Over half of all members reports that jobs are delayed because they are struggling to hire skilled workers.

Impact of changes in prices and costs

  • 79% of members report that material costs increased in Q2 2023 with 72% expecting this to continue into the next quarter.
  • The impact of increased outgoings has led to 69% of members increasing the prices they charge, with just under half reporting that the business in on track to make a loss.
  • 19% report that they are restricting hiring new staff as a consequence of increased outgoings.

Download the latest State of Trade survey below. Previous reports are also available for download.

​Previous reports