SOTS front cover Q422
FMB State of Trade Survey, Q4 2022

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. The survey is dispatched to the entire membership every quarter. The survey for Q3 2022 received 251 responses and they are weighted according to the number of employees.

Immigration strategy

  • 48% of small, local builders are in favour of the UK Government encouraging increased immigration of skilled labourers, providing this is supported by investment in UK-based training opportunities.

UK market conditions

  • Both workloads and enquiries decreased in Q4 2022 compared to Q3 2022 on balance in all sectors.
  • In terms of total enquiries, 41% of FMB members reported a decrease in Q4 compared to Q3 2022, with only 29% saying this had increased.
  • House building activity has fallen 17% from 1% to -18% compared to Q3 2022. Reported enquiries for new house building projects have dropped 11% from -8% to -19%.


  • 15% of FMB members report an increase in the number of employees within their company’s workforce in Q4 2022, with 19% saying it had decreased.
  • Around a third of FMB members are struggling to recruit carpenters/joiners, bricklayers and general labourers (39%, 35%, and 30% respectively).


  • 89% of FMB members reported an increase in material costs in Q4 2022.
  • 85% of respondents expect material costs to increase in Q1 2023.
  • 70% 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