Only one in 25 tradesmen and women are out of work amid optimism for their business in the coming year, according to a new study.
A survey of 500 plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other trades by Screwfix showed that just 4% were not in work, a fall of 1% on a year ago.
Most of those polled by the retailer said they expected business to remain at the same level or to improve over the next 12 months.
More than a third said they were busier than expected and nearly half said business was better than a year ago.
Andrew Livingston, chief executive of Screwfix said: "It is really encouraging that so many tradesmen are both optimistic for the future and are maintaining busy work schedules."