Baird Issues Upbeat Facility Services Update

Posted March 5, 2021 at 1:33 pm

R.W. Baird & Co. released its Facility Services update today, noting that February payroll data was relatively strong, including in the leisure/hospitality industry, a bright note after months of negative news.

February’s stronger payroll report reversed recent trends. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 379,000 in February, more than double the consensus of 175,000-plus. Gains were led by leisure/hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, healthcare, retail trade and manufacturing. Baird noted the unemployment rate for today’s report was 6.2%, below the 6.4% that was expected.

Other key points from the report include:

  • Leisure and hospitality drove nearly all gains, increasing 355,000, the largest gain since September 2020. Still, the industry remains 3.5-million jobs below pre-COVID levels.
  • Manufacturing was a relative bright spot, with a gain of 21,000 jobs.
  • Healthcare increased 20,000, led by ambulatory care at 29,000; however, this was offset by ongoing losses in nursing facilities.

Uniform rental-wearing employment gains were similarly strong. Uniform-wearing verticals increased 253,000, its strongest monthly gain since October 2020, benefiting from the leisure/hospitality gains.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming 2021 First-Quarter Uniform & Linen Rental Survey for more information. If you’d like to participate in the quarterly survey, contact R.W. Baird’s Andrew Wittmann at or Justin Hauke at To read a recap of the Fourth-Quarter 2020 Survey, click here.