Industry Labor Trends for BSCs

How the janitorial industry compares to national averages and what that means for your business.

Over the past fifteen years, the U.S. economy and job market has seen dramatic ups and downs. With labor being a top expense, businesses in the janitorial industry, specifically building service contractors, have felt the impact of those fluctuations stronger than in other industries. In this blog, we discuss the state of the overall job market and then look at the same data as it relates to the building service industry.

The BSC-specific data is a sample of over 250,000 employees hired through Kwantek Applicant Tracking Software and processed as employees through TEAM Software’s workforce management software between 2015 and 2018, from 20 mutual customers who agreed to participate in the analysis. As strategic partners with industry-specific end-to-end solutions, Kwantek and TEAM can obtain exclusive data on the janitorial industry.

Trend: The number of unemployed persons per job opening is decreasing.

Just prior to the Great Recession in December 2007, there was an average of 1.7 unemployed people per job opening. That number ballooned to 6.4 unemployed people per job opening in July 2009. Recently, this ratio has dipped to a number even smaller than prerecession lows. In March 2019, there were 0.8 unemployed people per job opening, meaning there were more job openings than people looking for work.

What it means for the janitorial industry

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for high-turnover industries, like janitorial, to capture enough applicants, much less be selective about who they’re hiring. It’s important to reassess your onboarding and retention processes to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep your best employees instead of having them leave for one of your competitors.

Trend: Quit and hire rates are steadily increasing.

Since the Great Recession, employees are seeing more job opportunities available and can gain new employment easier. They’re quitting nearly twice as often as they were at the lowest point of the recession. In fact, over the last 12 months, 27.2 percent of the entire workforce has quit a job.

What it means for the janitorial industry

In the janitorial industry, the quit rate is 8.1 percent per month, more than double the national rate of 3.6 percent per month. However, janitorial companies are hiring employees at a rate that’s 2.3 times the national average. While cleaning contractors must battle the higher quit rates, they’re at least still getting a steady stream of new hires to fill back the open positions.

Hire rates are naturally going to be higher when nearly 60 percent of all candidates fail to maintain 30 days of employment. And with the estimated minimum cost of hiring a new employee at $750, this is a great time to look at your retention metric and what you could do to improve it.

For the rest of our national labor trends and how the janitorial industry compares, download our Industry Labor Trends for Janitorial Contractors eBook, produced in partnership with Kwantek.