December data from workplace audit and CIS specialist Hudson Contract saw average weekly pay rates in the West Midlands of £1,023 – outstripping London at £930.
Annual data for 2018 saw average weekly earnings for freelance workers up 6.7% to £932 a week.
Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield said: “Construction companies need to be flexible in order to remain competitive.
“So the fact that skilled trades people such as plasters, joiners, scaffolders and bricklayers are commanding significantly more than this time last year is an excellent indicator of economic growth.
“The West Midlands has been buoyant for some time, and it now looks like the North East has started to play catch up.”
Anfield said freelance workers with similar skills earned 20% more than those on PAYE.
Looking at the year ahead he said: “As always, there is plenty of chatter about skills shortages and Brexit.
“But ultimately, highly skilled freelancers will continue to demand – and achieve – increasing rates of pay.
“In contrast employees are held back by uncertainty of employers and poor increases negotiated by unions under collective agreements.
“Rather than seeing £1,000-a-week tradesmen as a problem, if the CEO of a housebuilder is worth £75m pounds a year, surely freelancers who actually deliver the product are worth at least £50,000 each.
“We look forward to the day when the average weekly rate for freelance brickies, joiners, and plasterers hits £1,000 – they are more than worth it for the benefits they bring.”