4Q 2017 Employment Data Highlights the Local Markets Growing at a Blistering Pace

Feb. 9, 2018
Nationally, electrical contractor employment was up 4.4% year-over-year and manufacturing employment was up 1.4%.

As the 2017 year-end employment data in the core construction and manufacturing industries comes in, we get a clearer picture of which local markets are positioned for the best growth in 2018. EM’s analysis of the latest data revealed some surprises and confirmed some existing growth patterns.

Nationally, electrical contractor employment was up 4.4% year-over-year (YOY) to a 4Q 2017 average of 917,500 employees, and manufacturing employment was up 1.4% to 12.5 million employees. But the fastest-growing local markets doubled up on the national averages. Frequent growth stars like Las Vegas (up 17.3% for electrical contractors and 2.5% for industrials); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (up 15.6% for contractors); and San Antonio (up 12.9% for contractors and 1% for industrial employment) were the large metros growing the fastest.

Smaller metros like Lake Charles, LA (up 15.8% for contractors); the Evansville, IN-KY metro (up 14% for contractors); and the Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA metro (up 12.9% for contractors and 1.7% for industrials) also topped all of the other larger markets ($100 million of more) last year in terms of percent increase in employment. The chart on the next page highlights the total electrical sales potential and 4Q employment trends at the state level. For a table of sales potential by metro areas, you can download the spreadsheet here: Electrical Sales Potential 4Q 2017 Data for Local Markets.

EM watches employment trends very closely because it’s a core component of our Electrical Sales Potential estimates, which we develop with multipliers from Electrical Wholesaling’s Market Planning Guide. On a national basis, business from electrical contractors and the industrial market accounts for more than 75% of industry sales.