Jobber Report: Green Industry Growing But Labor Remains An Issue


reportA 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 and fluctuating material availability, homeowner demand for home services remains at an all-time high, and businesses are experiencing positive growth in revenue,” commented Sam Pillar, CEO & co-founder at Jobber. “Once supply chain disruptions subside and material costs decline to pre-pandemic levels, we expect growth to improve further.”

Consumer spending continues to drive revenue growth in Home Service, which has outperformed all other categories, including Grocery Stores and General Merchandise Stores in Q3. Long-term sustainable growth is expected through Q4 and into 2022 due to several factors.

  • Home Construction. The number of new homes being constructed and new building permits issued continued to outpace pre-pandemic levels, with no indication of slowing down.
  • 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 who increased their headcount were able to schedule more work from the rise in consumer demand and grow revenue at a much faster rate.
  • Increased Need. The ratio of hires to job openings has decreased significantly, suggesting the current demand for talent 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. Increased cost of materials, material scarcity, and labor shortages are starting to cap the amount of jobs service providers can commit to.
  • 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, said, “One key takeaway from this report that we want readers to walk away with, is that the best time to open a home service business, or pursue a career in the trades, is now.” To download the full report, visit here.