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Raymond James Analyst Assesses Technician Shortage

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Sept. 4, 2019—The Boyd Group Income Fund recently completed its second quarter survey for 2019 of the North American collision repair industry, and the research unearthed reason for at least a little optimism regarding the industry’s technician shortage. 

“We’re not trying to sugarcoat a difficult issue,” said Steve Hansen, an equity analyst for Raymond James Ltd. instrumental in creating the survey. The technician shortage “is still one of the most significant challenges facing the independent owner-operators. But, at least the data suggest this quarter it has gotten ‘less worse.’”

Survey data, gleaned from 157 respondents, suggests that the collision repair industry’s labor shortage could be stabilizing, or even slightly improving on the margin. The second quarter net survey score improved sequentially by .6 over the third quarter of 2018. Only 35 percent of survey respondents indicated that labor conditions worsened in 2Q19, with 60 percent feeling availability to find skilled technicians held roughly the same. 

Also of note: 5 percent of respondents felt the labor shortage was improving. 

The survey, Hansen said, “is just our initial way to get some data back. And it’s been pretty effective, so far, as far as being able to provide insight.

“If you look relative to 3Q18, which goes back a couple quarters now, [the labor shortage] has improved modestly. ‘Stabilizing’ is another good [description] … It’s a small, upward trajectory.”

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