State of the landscape industry


Although a lack of quality labor is still a challenge, growth and profits are trending up for landscape contractors.

November 1, 2017


Contractors continue to settle back in — and then some — since the end of the Great Recession, making it another solid year for the green industry. Landscaping companies had a median revenue of $291,000, which is up from $256,000 in 2015 and $217,000 in 2014. Slightly more contractors turned a profit in 2016 (86 percent) than in 2015 (84 percent) and 2014 (78 percent).

Landscape maintenance stayed the most profitable service, and it regained the top spot as the most popular service provided after losing that spot to lawn care last year.

A lack of quality labor continues to be the top concern in the industry, especially for companies making more than $1 million in revenue. On a 1-10 scale (10 being a major concern), those companies ranked hiring a 7.8, compared to the average ranking from all companies, which was 6.5.

Personal stress, low-ball competitors and high health insurance costs also ranked as major concerns for landscapers. Bad weather fell in the middle of the pack this year as a concern, though this survey was taken before the hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

Two major issues we covered in last year’s State of the Industry were changed. One was a cosmetic chemical ban on lawns in Montgomery County, Maryland, which was overturned in August. The other was a federal overtime rule that would have made employees making less than $47,476 annually eligible for overtime pay, doubling the current threshold of $23,660.

Brian is the editor of Lawn & Landscape magazine. Lawn & Landscape’s State of the Industry Report was published in its October issue.