Baird Facility Services Report – Lackluster Numbers
The latest report from Baird Equity Research Technology & Services on trends in facility services pointed to modest growth that fell well below expectations for the month of April.
The report, borrowing a line from the Monty Python’s Flying Circus comedy program, was titled, “And Now for Something Completely Different.” It noted that employment numbers remain 8.2 million below pre-COVID-19 levels and affirmed numerous anecdotal reports of labor shortages. While uniform services saw growth, the trend line isn’t what operators would prefer to see. “Positively, we still cite much better relative uniform rental and stabilization in jobless claims. Still gains in uniform verticals also (are) decelerating.”
The report also noted a slight increase in the unemployment rate with gains in leisure and hospitality offset by losses in temporary help services, couriers and messengers. Overall, nonfarm payrolls increased by 266,000 – far below the predicted growth pace of as much as 1 million, the report noted. Few laundry operators or supplier partners will be shocked by the report’s finding that, “employers are struggling to fill vacancies despite total job losses remaining 8.2 million below pre-COVID levels. The unemployment rate ticked slightly higher (6.1%) and prior month’s data was revised lower (-78,000).”
Other key findings from the report noted that:
- “Uniform-wearing verticals (i.e., a group of companies focused on a specific niche) increased +149,000 down from recent months but still a generally positive print. Recovery in uniform verticals remains better than the broader economy with approximately 73% of pre-COVID losses recovered (vs. roughly 63% overall).
- “Uniform-wearing employment rentals weakened this winter but have been stable (or improved) since February, mirroring the broader economy.”
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