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.
- There has been a decrease in total workload, enquires and employment over Q3 of 2023, seemingly driven by a poor performing housebuilding and industrial and commercial sectors.
- 40% of FMB members reported a decrease in enquiries.
- RMI reported workloads remain positive, but have dropped off since Q2 2023.
- Overall, difficulty in recruitment has slightly increased.
- 39% of members are struggling to hire carpenters with 34% struggling to hire bricklayers.
- There has been a sharp upturn in difficulty hiring general labourers, with 35% reporting problems (up from 25% in Q2)
- Half of FMB members report that jobs are delayed because they are struggling to hire skilled workers.
Changes in prices and costs
- 71% of members report that material costs increased in Q3 2023 with 55% expecting this to continue into the next quarter, which is an improvement on previous quarters.
- The impact of increased outgoings has led to 71% of members increasing the prices they charge, with half reporting that the business in on track to make a loss or fall below expected margins.
- Over a quarter report that they are restricting hiring new staff as a consequence of increased outgoings.
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