2H 2021 Business Services M&A Report

Companies large and small, backed into a corner by an ongoing labor shortage, can always raise wages to attract warm bodies. Amazon last year raised its minimum for warehouse workers to $18 an hour. Walmart moved its minimum to $12. Costco, $16. Chipotle, $18. All well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as the national unemployment rate slid under 3.9% as 2021 ended. But there is a labor-intensive, service business sector where workers can’t simply be hired out of thin air: skilled vocational trades. It can take, on average, six to 10 years to become a master plumber, including apprenticeships and journeyman status. Becoming a master electrician can take six to eight years. Becoming a qualified, certified trade professional takes time. When you need a plumber, HVAC service, or an electrician, you need a plumber, HVAC service, or an electrician. There aren’t ways around these essential, high-skill services. Builders and homeowners need these services, and employers are stalking the same pool for the same skilled workers…

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