Spending on Home Service Reaches New Heights, Outpacing Most Other Major Categories

Home Service Category Shows Strong Resilience to Economic Uncertainty, Reaching 20 Months of Positive Revenue Growth

Jobber, the leading provider of home service management software, released its latest Home Service Economic Report: 2021 Review. The report features expert insights and proprietary data aggregated from more than 160,000 residential cleaners, landscapers, HVAC technicians, window washers, plumbers, and more, who use Jobber.

“The performance of the Home Service category has made the trades an attractive option for entrepreneurs, those seeking a career change, and young adults entering the workforce,” said Sam Pillar, CEO & co-founder of Jobber. “2021 was a notable year as it demonstrated just how essential the Home Service category is with its high growth and unprecedented consumer demand.”

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Raking in the Green: Home Service Outperforms Most Other Categories

Spending on Home Service outperformed most major categories, such as Food and Beverage Stores, Clothing Stores, and Restaurants, throughout 2021, with growth exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Home Service revenue growth has been steadily growing since June 2020. Year-over-year median revenue grew at a faster rate in Q4 2021, even while new work scheduled during Q4 2021 slowed, showing companies were able to make more per job.

  • Contracting Segment Prices Climb: Contracting businesses benefited from increasing prices with 12% revenue growth in Q4 2021.
  • Contract Jobs Grow Cleaning Segment: Recent growth in the Cleaning segment’s new work scheduled was driven by a 16% year-over-year increase in contract jobs.
  • New Work for Green Segment Stands Out: The Green segment, which includes outdoor services such as pressure washing, lawn care, and landscaping, experienced high growth in new work scheduled during 2021, while other segments slowed down.

Housing Dynamics

The active real estate market, further heightened by the desire to purchase homes before mortgage rates increase, continued to create momentum and demand for home services.

  • New Homes Can’t Bridge the Gap: The U.S. housing market is nearly four million homes short of buyer demand; the supply of newly built units has been unable to satisfy this ever-increasing demand.
  • Shoppers Turning to Older Homes: With limited supply, homebuyers are turning to older homes or choosing to invest in their current home; as such, home improvement and maintenance expenditures are tracking toward double-digit growth in 2022.

Payments Tech: Pay Now or Later?

Home Service businesses have their own unique dynamics related to payment collection. Some businesses like the immediate liquidity of cash, while others prefer to take checks for a large job so they don’t have to pay credit card transaction fees. That said, Jobber’s data does indicate that adoption of payment technology is on the rise.

  • Growth of Online Payments: Online payments grew to 39% of all payments processed across all Home Service segments.
  • Green Segment Catching Up: Green businesses, which showed the lowest percentage of online payments prior to the pandemic, has seen rapid adoption, climbing over 35%.

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Skilled Worker Trends: Retirements Open More Opportunities For Those Starting Their Careers

The challenge to hire skilled trade workers remains widespread, despite a significant opportunity in earning potential for those who choose to enter Home Service.

  • Retirement’s Impact: Half of the people who exited the labor market in 2021 were 55+, accelerating the rate of retirement—a macro trend that also impacted Home Service.
  • Job Openings Remain Unfilled: The ratio of hires to job openings continued to grow, such that job openings widely outnumbered positions being filled.

“It’s a testament to the resilience of the Home Service category that revenue growth can be sustained even when there’s a drastic shortage of talent,” said Abheek Dhawan, VP, Business Operations at Jobber. “With Home Service demand at a record high, the category remains ripe with opportunity for those willing to enter it.”

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