Depending on which source of history you choose to quote from, the phrase “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics” is either attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain or Leonard H Courtney (later president of the Royal Statistical Society), but as far as builders in London are concerned, there seems to be no accurate guide to what contractors get paid these days.
A report by Hays Construction which is quoted on the builder.co.uk web site, states that average pay in London has decreased by 8% with almost one in five companies reducing the pay of their staff, whereas Construction News Insight produced their own report showing a 0.4% pay increase amongst London builders.
Writing in Construction News, former Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Blanchflower said: “The official UK construction employment data remain a puzzle. It may well be that many of the construction jobs were held by workers from Eastern Europe who have now returned home. Many of these workers were not covered in the official counts and if so then the decline in employment may well be understated.”
In contrast to Mr Blanchflower´s words, the Office of National Statistics reported that for the year ended 31st March 2010, 234.000 jobs were lost in the construction industry. Maybe the Eastern Europeans could not make head or tail of the figures either!