Eight Insights from the NWRA’s Latest Business Conditions Report

Eight Insights from the NWRA’s Latest Business Conditions Report

Economic indicators generally were strong in the first half of 2015, and industry officials are optimistic on the near future, according to a business conditions analysis by the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA).

The Washington-based association published its analysis of the industry’s second quarter based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey (issued in September) and response to the NWRA’s quarterly business conditions survey conducted among its member companies, according to a news release.

Here are eight highlights from the NWRA report:

  1. Second quarter revenue climbed 10.3 percent to $21.76 billion. The increase follows a first-quarter decline of 11.7 percent, which the association attributes largely to the winter weather and depressed global commodity prices.
  2. Revenue for the first half fell 5.3 percent to $41.5 billion compared with the first half of 2014.
  3. More than half (58 percent) of the respondents to the business conditions survey said the believe conditions will improve in the next three to six months.
  4. Nearly half of the respondents reported increases in employment in the second quarter.
  5. Two-thirds of the respondents expect employment to hold steady, while 30 percent anticipate increasing employment.
  6. The assessment by Bret Biggers, NWRA’s director of standards and statistics: “The industry data for the quarter shows solid economic conditions for the industry. While the industry continues to be subject to increased costs and the extreme fluctuations in global commodity markets, we are seeing strength in the sector in terms of increasing revenues and only 4 percent of survey respondents expecting to reduce employment as we head into the winter months.”
  7. The analysis fits the report of Leone Young, in her review of second-quarter results in Waste360’s Business Insights. She wrote that of the largest publicly traded solid waste companies, all executives cited an improving economic environment that was driving generally higher volumes. The outlook for special waste and construction and demolition was favorable as well.
  8. Waste and recycling industry employment reached a record high in 2014, according to data from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released earlier in the year. Employment increased by 8,700 for year, bringing total waste and recycling industry employment to 383,300.
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