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. The steep drop in new building construction and declining disposable income lowered demand for plumbing renovations and upgrades to existing properties. As demand for plumbing services weakened, operators increasingly lowered prices to remain competitive, putting pressure on profit. Demand will recover over the next five years, however, 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 benefits from widespread demand across residential and nonresidential building markets. 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. The industry's performance is directly linked to building construction markets and consumer spending levels; therefore, the total collapse of the housing market and subsequent economic recession significantly hindered growth over the past five years. “Although the industry benefits from steady demand for repairs, the industry's pool of customers was limited by the steep drop in new building construction,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Andrea Alegria. “At the same time, declining income lowered demand for plumbing renovations and upgrades to existing properties.” Consequently, industry revenue is expected to decline at an average annual rate of 4.9% to $61.4 billion in the five years to 2012.

As demand for Plumbing industry services weakened, operators increasingly lowered prices for services to compete on price, putting pressure on profit. “Contractors also looked for ways to cut costs, and implemented workforce reductions,” adds Alegria. “Many contractors, unable to compete, exited the business.” The industry is characterized by its many small scale establishments competing for a share of narrow regional markets. The fragmented structure indicates that more than three quarters of industry establishments employ fewer than 10 people, with about 55.0% employing fewer than five (excludes non-employer establishments). In the five years to 2012, plumbing contractors are estimated to decline at an average rate of 1.7% annually to 103,653 enterprises, while industry jobs are forecast to decline at a rate of 2.0% per year to 509,820 people.

After four years of declining revenue, the industry began recovering in 2011 and is projected to grow 2.7% in 2012 due to an increase in consumer spending and rising demand from residential construction markets. Strong recovery in the housing market and marked improvements in nonresidential building construction will continue to drive growth for the industry through 2017. Population growth, lower unemployment and improved income levels will boost demand for new housing, and strengthen demand for plumbing services for repair and renovation work. Across nonresidential markets, the prevalence of long-term plumbing maintenance contracts will also help drive revenue growth in the five years to 2017. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Plumbing in the US industry report 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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