Direct Line survey reveals resilient trade activity

Direct Line survey reveals resilient trade activity

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, two in five UK tradespeople (40%) state they have seen an increase in their workload since January with 10% of whom saying the increase “has been significant”, according to research by Direct Line business insurance.

Although work has increased for some tradespeople, the Direct Line survey does show that rising business, fuel, material, and transport costs are “generally becoming an increasing concern”.  Over a quarter are taking jobs closer to home due to rising transport costs (28%) or the expansion of low emission zones (25%) whilst over a fifth (21%) have had to turn down jobs because of supply chain issues.

Almost a quarter (24%) say that jobs are taking longer to complete, or that their profit margins have decreased, due to honouring quotes despite increasing material and business costs. Added to that, almost one in ten (9%) say that tool theft has impacted their ability to work.

While industry challenges and the cost-of-living continues to rise, sentiment among tradespeople remains relatively high, with 44% expecting a further increase in their workload over the next six months. Currently, there is a nearly an even split between tradespeople that have seen an increase (40%) and decrease (38%) in their workload, however 62% overall say they have either experienced an increase or no change, despite increasingly difficult market conditions.

Tradespeople report mixed feelings towards the impact of their increased or potentially increased workloads. The largest proportion expecting an increase (39%) in work are enjoying having more work to do, although 27% say they are feeling increasingly stressed and anxious about the rise. Over one in ten (12%) have concerns about burnout due to the increased volume of work.

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance, said: “Trade based skills are vital to the UK economy, so it’s encouraging to see that many tradespeople remain optimistic and have continued to see a steady or increase in workload this year. That said, market conditions are becoming increasingly challenging, as business costs continue to rise, and the cost-of-living crisis starts to bite. Supply chain issues, rising material, staff, and transportation costs, as well a tool theft are all affecting tradespeople’s ability to work, with many also reporting a decrease in workload this year.

“It is always important that tradespeople find insurance that provides them with the flexibility, value and cover they may need to help protect their business, particularly during uncertain times. Direct Line business insurance offers a wide range of products, from Tradesperson and tools cover to Employee Liability and Van Cover. Our products help give tradespeople the reassurance that if anything goes wrong, we’ll help to get them back up and running quickly.”

Direct Line business insurance Trade Survey Key Findings:

Over six in ten tradespeople have either seen an increase or no change in workload since the start of this year, even as the cost-of-living crisis bites

Less than a quarter of tradespeople are expecting their workload to decrease over the next six months

One in four tradespeople experiencing reduced profits due to honouring quotes from before material and business costs increased

Rising fuel, transport and building supply costs are all contributing and impacting tradespeople workload

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