New research undertaken by a business insurance website has revealed that a third of UK construction workers have not felt ‘financially stable’ during the past twelve months. ‘A lack of well-paid freelance jobs’, ‘the rising costs of living’ and ‘being out of work’ emerged as the most common worries which left respondents feeling insecure.
As part of its ongoing research into insights and trends surrounding the construction industry, a leading business insurance site has investigated the financial attitudes of construction workers with a view to understand how financially secure and confident they feel in their chosen careers.
Researchers at www.constructaquote.com polled a total of 2,138 workers currently employed within the construction industry, all of whom were aged 18 and over. Of the respondents, the majority (58%) were in full-time employment with a construction company or business, whilst the remaining 42% stated that they were self-employed or freelance at the time of the survey.
When initially asked to reveal if they felt that their lives were better, easier or happier during times of financially stable periods where money was less of a worry, the overwhelming majority of construction workers (87%) agreed that this was true.
Participants were then questioned on how often they had felt financially stable during the past twelve months. Just over a third (34%) of respondents revealed that they had not felt financially stable at all. Of these workers, the majority (78%) were self-employed. Only 11% of those questioned stated that they had felt financially stable throughout the whole year.
When these respondents were asked to reveal the most common reason as to why they had not felt confident in terms of their financial situation within the past year, the most frequently relayed answers emerged as follows:
- A lack of well-paid freelance jobs in my trade/sector- (38%)
- The rising cost of bills (electricity/heating/mortgage repayments etc) – (26%)
- Not getting paid for work carried out- (21%)
- Increased costs from important life event (a new baby, wedding planning, struck down with illness etc)- (14%)
- Becoming the sole earner of household- (8%)
All those who had felt financially unstable during the last year, just over half (53%) admitted to researchers that they had or had considered taking out a loan to help tide them over during particularly expensive periods. A further 23% revealed that they’d also considered taking on a second job in order to boost their finances.
Looking to delve a little deeper, researchers then questioned relevant workers on whether they felt as though their personal relationships had been affected through their lack of financial stability. Over three fifths (61%) admitted it had put a strain on their relationship with a significant other due to arguments, guilt and stress, whilst a further 39% felt as though their friendships had suffered as a result of a lack of social life and being able to afford to participate in group activities.
Lyndon Wood, CEO and creator of constructaquote.com, made the following comments regarding the research’s findings.
“During these past few years since the recession, it has certainly been tough for workers in most industries, not to mention those working within the construction trade. Being self-employed suits many builders and construction workers, as well as those they contract for, who needn’t worry about such complications as national insurance contributions, sick pay or holiday pay.”
“Having said that, it is clear from our research that the pressures and downsides associated with having to find work for yourself on a regular basis with no promise of a set monthly income can have a huge impact on emotional wellbeing and financial security.”