Jobber Report: Green Industry Growing But Labor Remains An Issue

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A new report released from Jobber, a provider of home service management software, found the Green Industry has been resilient through the pandemic and invoice sizes saw an increase. In fact, consumer spending on Home Service over the past 15 months has exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The report, Home Service Economic Report: Record Growth Fuels Labor Shortage, features expert insights and proprietary data aggregated from more than 100K landscapers and other home service professionals who use the Jobber platform. The report found that:

  • Growth in new work scheduled in Q3 2021 continues to stay positive at just under 10% growth year-over-year.
  • Growth in revenue matches 2020 and is outpacing growth in new work scheduled as a result of the rising cost of services.
  • ” Despite the current labor shortage, homeowners are still in demand for home services. Businesses are also experiencing positive growth of revenue. Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder of Jobber, said that once supply chain disruptions subside and material costs decline to pre-pandemic levels, we expect growth to continue. We expect further growth Once supply chain disruptions cease and material costs drop to pre-pandemic levels we expect growth to continue Consumer spend continues to drive revenue growth for Home Service which outperformed all categories except Grocery Stores in Q3. A variety of factors are responsible for long-term, sustainable growth through Q4 as well as into 2022.

    • Home Construction. The number of homes built and permits issued for new construction has not slowed down from pre-pandemic levels.
    • Growing Invoice Sizes. Invoice sizes saw an increase in all the main segments including the Green industry, which includes landscaping, lawn care, and other outdoor services.
    • New Work Growth Stays Positive: Despite the supply chain and labor shortage challenges, new work scheduled continued to show positive year-over-year growth for all segments.

    The Challenges Ahead

    While this is all good news, the need for skilled workers is impacting the rate at which service businesses can book new work. The report found:

    • Hiring Is Key to Revenue Growth. Service providers that increased their staff were able to plan more work and increase revenue faster due to rising consumer demand.
    • Increased Need. The ratio of job openings to hires has dropped significantly, indicating that the current talent shortage is not being met.
    • Contractors Most Impacted: The Contracting segment showed positive growth in new work scheduled year-over-year in Q3 2021 but was impacted the most by labor shortages.

    In addition to labor shortages, there continues to be emerging and rapidly-changing economic trends that home service providers have to navigate:

    • Shortages Slowing New Work: While new work scheduled saw positive growth, this growth was slower year-over-year. The number of jobs that service providers can take on is being limited by increased costs, labor scarcity, and material scarcity.
    • Unpredictable Cost Spikes: The prices of painting and coating manufacturing, and HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment have increased, while gas and diesel prices reached peak levels last quarter. Steel mill products are the most impacted, seeing 122% growth over January 2020 prices.
    • Lumber and Wood: In Q3, the cost of lumber and wood returned to levels experienced earlier in the year–which is still an increase of 24% compared to January 2020.
    • Abheek Dhawan (VP, Business Operations at Jobber) stated that “The best time to start a home-service business or to pursue a career as a tradesperson is now.” You can download the complete report here.

Christine Menapace
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