SOTS Q4 2022 covershot.PNG

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 small and medium-sized (SME) firms throughout the construction sector. The survey is dispatched to the entire membership every quarter. The survey for Q4 2021 received 440 responses and they are weighted according to the number of employees.


  • 86% of FMB members want the UK Government to introduce a mandatory licensing regime to help raise standards in the building industry.


  • The repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector is performing most strongly, with 32% of respondents reporting an increased workload this quarter.
  • Housebuilders report a 19% increased workload, and the industrial and commercial sector only an 8% increase.
  • Despite this growth, all sectors have lower rises in workload than in Q3 2021.


  • 43% of builders are struggling to hire carpenters / joiners, down 4% on last quarter.
  • 41% of FMB members are finding it difficult to hire bricklayers, down 4% on last quarter.


  • Nearly all FMB members (95%) reported an increase in material costs in Q4 2021.
  • 91% of respondents expect material costs to increase in Q1 2022.
  • 74% of builders have put up their prices for work.

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

​Previous reports