As you get familiar with electrical contractor employment data at the county level, you usually aren’t surprised too often with which counties have the highest contractor counts when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases updated county employment data twice each year.
What is really surprising is the enormous number of contractors working in the very largest counties and the billions of dollars in contractor sales potential these counties as a group represent. The 2Q 2023 electrical contractor employment data that BLS released last week had many of the usual counties at the top of the list (see chart on bottom of page), including Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix); Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties in Southern California, CA; Harris County, TX (Houston); Dallas County, TX; Chicago’s Cook County; Clark County, NV (Las Vegas); Santa Clara County, CA (San Jose metro); and Seattle’s King County.
As a group, these 10 counties accounted for an estimated $11.3 billion in electrical contractor sales potential and 143,370 electrical contractor employees. What was really stunning to Electrical Marketing’s editors was just how much the employment had grown in some of these markets. For example, in the nation’s biggest contractor market, Maricopa County’s electrical contractor employment increased by 6,839 employees YOY (+36.2%) to a whopping 25,733 employees. That’s over 6,000 more than Los Angeles County, ranked second in electrical contractor employment.
Long known for all the residential, retail and commercial development throughout the Valley of the Sun, Maricopa County has in recent years seen the construction of several data centers, semiconductor plants and EV factories, including Intel chip plants in Chandler, AZ, with total construction value exceeding $20 billion; Lucid’s facility in Casa Grande, AZ; and the $400-million Prime Data Center in Avondale, AZ.
Some smaller counties also saw impressive gains in electrical contractor employment. Loudon County, VA, west of Washington, DC, and home to the largest concentration of data centers in the nation has 4,137 more electrical contractor employees than a year ago, for a +184.6% year-over-year increase. Many of Loudon County’s 6,378 electrical contractor employees in the 2Q 2023 BLS count were no doubt working in some of the many data centers being built in the area.Another mid-sized market area enjoying a sizeable YOY increase in electrical contractor employment is Utah County in the Provo-Orem, UT, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). With a +96.8% increase of 3,725 more electrical contractors to 7,573 workers, Utah County had the third largest increase of the more than 900 counties with electrical contractor employment, according to BLS. The county is in the midst of one of the nation's best construction markets along the western front of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains range, which stretches for more than 70 miles from Ogden in the north, south through Salt Lake City and the Provo-Orem area.
Electrical Marketing calculates electrical contractor sales potential using the $78,775 sales-per-employee multiplier published in Electrical Wholesaling’s 2024 Market Planning Guide. Click on the link below to download electrical contractor sales estimates and employee data for more than 900 U.S. counties.