Plumbing in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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During the recession, the poor housing and non-residential construction markets had a direct and adverse effect on plumbers. Demand will recover over the next five years, as the economy and improved residential construction benefit the industry. Also, growth in environmentally friendly practices will help industry players succeed in the future. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Plumbing industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Renewed residential construction markets will heighten demand for plumbers

From unclogging household drains to installing high-pressure industrial steam pipes, the Plumbing industry touches the day-to-day lives of all Americans. Contractors in the industry hold specific licenses and qualifications to install, service and repair all types of pipes and drainage systems (e.g. faucets, ovens and toilets) for the catchment and distribution of water, liquids, gases and waste products. From 2007 to 2012, industry revenue is expected to decrease at an average annual rate of 3.4% to $67.3 billion. The sharp contraction in residential construction spending negatively affected industry performance because fewer homes and residential buildings meant fewer installations of fixtures, pipes and other plumbing, according to IBISWorld industry analyst Andrea Alegria. The decrease in demand for industry services was exacerbated by the recession-induced slump in non-residential construction activity. A decline in new office buildings, retail shops and other commercial spaces, and high vacancy rates in existing spaces as a result of bankruptcies and branch closures, also reduced demand for plumbing contractors. Demand for retrofitting services was also hurt as consumer spending declined and people cancelled or postponed plans to upgrade existing plumbing equipment.

During the difficult market, the number of plumbing contractors and the people employed by them also declined. With limited work, contractors in the Plumbing industry increasingly lowered prices for services to compete on price, putting pressure on profit, Alegria said. Contractors also looked for ways to reduce costs, reducing workforces. Many contractors, unable to compete, exited the business. In the five years to 2012, contractors are estimated to decline an average of 1.4% annually to 98,777 enterprises, while jobs will decline at an average annual rate of 1.4% to 469,988.

The industry has a particularly low concentration of ownership. The industry is characterized by its many small-scale establishments competing for a share of narrow regional markets. The four largest players - EMCOR Group Inc., Roto-Rooter, TDIndustries Ltd. and ACCO Engineered Systems - are estimated to contribute a small fraction of annual industry revenue. After four years of declining revenue, the industry is projected to grow 4.0% in 2012 due to an increase in consumer spending and rising demand from residential construction markets. In the next five years, downstream construction markets will continue to recover. Solid growth in maintenance and repair activities will also support demand. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Plumbing report in the US industry page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Industry contractors install and maintain plumbing fixtures, fittings, and equipment, ranging from work on household pipes and drains, to installation of gas cooking and heating appliances, bathroom and toilet fixtures and venting systems. Emergency repair work (e.g. unclogging drains or repairing burst water mains), represents a significant source of industry revenue. Contractors may also supply plumbing appliances, pipes and coupling products for projects.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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