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Are tradespeople heading for a recession?

clock 2 months ago

Could we be heading for a recession?

With the cost of fuel, materials, and living climbing higher and interest rates rising to match, the forecast for the UK economy in 2022 is beginning to look a bit grim- especially for the trade. Could we be heading for a recession?

“I think it’s kind of inevitable at this stage that we are in for a recession.”

We took to the streets of Dublin to ask the boots on the ground what they think about the possibility of an upcoming financial recession, and to see what the impact looks like. You can watch the full video on Facebook here.

Fuel costs

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy publishes road fuel price statistics providing average UK retail ‘pump’ prices on a weekly basis. Looking at the statistics for the first week in June, the pump price alone has risen by 46.3 pence per litre in just one year.

For tradespeople, the rising cost of fuel isn’t just an irritating complication when getting from A to B, it’s an interference with their livelihoods:

“It’s going to be even harder for subbies that have vans on the road to keep those vans running. You’ll see fellows being laid off, with materials unable to be delivered to site.”


And for those who were already living paycheck-to-paycheck, the recession rearing its ugly horns is all the more noticeable and threatening:

“Everything is going up in this country. Our wage only covers the cost of living; if you’re working six days a week, you might only save €50 by the end of the week.”

Material shortages

When we asked some other tradespeople whether they had noticed the prices of materials increasing, they agreed. However, they asserted that the rise in material prices had little to no effect on the amount of business they were bringing in:

“We’ve just got to put up our prices. The customers are crying, but what can we do? You get complaints even after explaining why.”

Alternatively, because it is becoming increasingly difficult to procure materials in the first instance, many tradespeople are being laid off instead:

“Even in this site here, there are people getting put off all the time. Joiners are meant to be in doing stuff, but they can’t get the materials, so it’s all been put back. It’s a knock-on effect everywhere.”

Watch the full video here.
Are you being affected by fuel price increases and material shortages? Or maybe you think we should visit your city for some tradespeople’s opinions about the potential recession? Get in touch and let us know.
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