British Furniture Manufacturers

Jump in wages analysed in latest BFM survey

16 December 2021

Wages in the furniture production industry are on the rise, according to data from a national trade body.

British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) believes a lack of skilled workers is driving up pay in roles such as upholsterers, sewers and cabinet makers.

BFM’s latest Wages Survey looks at pay as well as standard hours, holidays, shift work and union recognition across 23 job roles including foreman, manual wood machinists and product development.

Compared with data from previous surveys, BFM believes skill shortages are leading to significant jumps in wages.

BFM Managing Director Sean Holt said: “BFM regularly surveys the industry on a number of topics as part of our work to provide insight to help our members identify emerging, relevant trends and challenges they may face in the future.

“Our survey information reveals, in this instance, a clear rise in wages for skilled jobs, which in our view is directly related to data around skilled labour shortages.”

In October this year, the BFM’s Furniture Trade Survey found that 76% of respondents suffered from skill shortages, with one-quarter stating that the lack of staff was significant or severe.

The wages survey looked separately at those on a basic wage and workers who are paid-by-results, as well as distinguishing between companies in the north and south of the country.

BFM represents companies in the furniture industry, from sole traders making hand-crafted furniture to household names.

The full, detailed information about trends in wages and skilled labour from BFM is available to members. More details at

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