We live in a country on the move. Roughly one in nine Americans will change homes this year and the trend is nothing new — historically that number has been as high as one in five. For most, moving is a lot like spring cleaning, tax season, and bi-annual dentist appointments: a sometimes cringe-inducing fact of life.
To help, many of these individuals will enlist the help of local movers. Many thousands of these professionals use Thumbtack, fielding hundreds of thousands of local moving requests this year alone and providing us with a wealth of insight into the market for movers nationwide.
So where were those moving vans headed? We rated opportunities for local movers on a scale of zero to 100 to find out which cities were best for local moving pros in 2016 — and where the opportunities lie in 2017 — as well as which cities were worst for local movers.
Top Cities for Local Movers in 2017
Local moving professionals looking for new business should look no further than Chicago, where a shortage of movers has left locals clamoring for help getting their things door-to-door in one piece. With a perfect score of 100 on our opportunity scale and wages slightly above the national average, the outlook for local pros in the Windy City is overwhelmingly positive.
Also top of our list is New York City, where sky-high demand has left the door open for new businesses looking to enter the market. And big city moving jobs bring in big city prices. Movers in New York are paid $50 more per job on average than in the rest of the country.
They’re not, however, paid more than local movers in Utah. Interestingly, the country’s 45th state — a place generally known for its affordability — is also home to the the two highest paid cities for local movers. Local movers in Utah are hanging on the coattails of a statewide housing boom. In both Ogden and Salt Lake City pros are bringing in an average of $537 and $518 per job, respectively.
The Moving Market is Toughest In the South
So where is the market tightest for local moving services, and what cities should pros steer clear of? All signs point south (specifically, the American South), to places like Cape Coral, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina, where a perfect storm of limited growth, low opportunity, and modest wages make entry into the market particularly tricky for moving professionals.
That’s with one prominent exception. Defying the sleepiness of the Southern local moving market is Tampa, which was also the fastest growing housing destination for Americans in 2016. It’s competitive, sure, but with sandy beaches and a growth rating of 100, the number of jobs worth fighting for are in high supply.
See Where Your City Ranks
Check out our chart below to see how your area rates.
|City||Size Index||Growth Index||Supply Index||Market Opportunity Index||Average Price per Job|
|New York, NY||106.90||67.83||52.80||91.46||404.25|
|San Antonio, TX||36.34||47.12||100.00||70.16||301.87|
|San Francisco, CA||34.30||82.88||63.56||68.84||222.42|
|Virginia Beach, VA||31.73||43.89||55.65||44.93||190.07|
|San Diego, CA||31.83||47.27||50.76||44.24||261.87|
|Palm Bay, FL||3.48||64.77||55.16||41.13||470.37|
|Salt Lake City, UT||16.40||46.44||56.12||38.97||518.26|
|Los Angeles, CA||50.82||38.68||15.16||32.06||316.76|
|San Jose, CA||15.42||52.13||28.76||28.03||243.72|
|New Orleans, LA||12.69||39.34||43.35||27.58||424.50|
|North Port, FL||6.14||40.25||45.11||25.71||381.91|
|Cape Coral, FL||5.99||26.98||5.35||0.00||506.30|
Hundreds of thousands of consumers use Thumbtack each year to find pros in over 1,000 categories to get their projects done. This gives us an unprecedented amount of insight on the local services market in the United States. We used this data to compare opportunity for local movers, looking at thousands of requests in every market where pros are active. We gave each city an opportunity score, using a metric we call our Market Opportunity Index, which measures the number of requests submitted on Thumbtack per active professional in that market. This allowed us to see where markets are oversaturated and where they’re underserved, and to pinpoint where opportunity was greatest for local movers.