The fastest growing industries in the United States in 2013 were probably not the kind of industries you would expect, according to a report issued earlier in the year by a nationwide financial information firm. But the reasons why these industries have grown will not come as a surprise.
The quickest growth among U.S. businesses has not come in the tech sector, nor the communication sector. Rather, it has come in an arena that is a little more traditional. According to the financial information company Sageworks, 12 of the 20 fastest growing industries in the United States through April 2014 are related to construction. Among the areas of the construction and real estate industries seeing dramatic growth are:
- Real Estate Agents & Brokers
- Residential Builders
- Lumber Wholesalers
- Foundation Contractors
- Commercial Builders
- Engineering Firms
- Heavy Construction
Sageworks offers neither reasons for growth in this sector nor any guarantees that growth will continue, but experts say there are multiple factors at work. They include:
1) Stabilization in the Real Estate Market – After the real estate bubble burst and prices plunged, the industry took several years to begin a return to normalcy. Now that kinks in the market have been shaken out, buyers and sellers alike are seeing a more hopeful future for real estate. That means money is being spent.
2) Improvements To Office-End Efficiency – At one time, the construction industry was a feet-on-the-ground industry, where money was made and lost in the field. Today, the industry leaders have embraced the same technology that helped spark growth in the financial, communication and tech sectors, including digital marketing, a switch to the paperless office format, shared databases, and more. This means doing more for less.
3) An Increase In Those Seeking Vocational Careers – If white collar ruled the day in the late 1990s and early 2000s, that trend began to shift towards blue collar at the end of the last decade. Today, more college graduates than ever are building their lives in the vo-tech sector, which has in turn created demand for its services, created jobs, and created success for businesses in the field.
Other fields cited for strong growth over the last year include:
- Computer System Design
- Automobile Dealers
- Trucking & Freight
- Automotive Parts Wholesalers & Suppliers
Among these, reasons for growth vary. In Computer Systems Design, for instance, the industry plays a supporting role for almost every other industry in the U.S., from medical record scanning to telcomm and more, so growth there is expected alongside overall economic growth.
The same holds true for other industries that rise and fall with the economy, such as Trucking & Freight (closely tied to both retail and industrial growth) and Automobile Dealers (which benefit when the economy is good).
Growth in white collar sectors has been moderate but consistent, sparked in part by tech-driven efficiency – document scanning services have streamlined office operations, for instance, while smart devices allow employees to work from anywhere, at any time – though salaries have remained stagnant.
In all cases, money-saving office tips have helped these industries operate more efficiently and with less overhead. That, coupled with changes in the American business landscape, make the future look bright for those in the above cited-sectors.
But for how long is anyone’s guess.