10 Local Markets to Watch in 2024

Oct. 11, 2023
These 10 local markets have powered through 2023’s turbulent business conditions and look like good bets for solid growth in 2024.
When Electrical Wholesaling’s editors sat down with the key economic growth indicators that we feel best measure the sales potential of local markets, this year we focused on one key filter: which Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) were cranking along at double the national rate of growth. Even with that high bar, we had a tough time limiting our picks to just 10 local market areas because quite a few MSAs are enjoying impressive growth. The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA MSA and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA come immediately to mind, because they also had stellar results when measured against most of our key indicators:
  •  Estimated sales potential using Electrical Wholesaling’s tried-and-true sales-per-employee multipliers from our 2023 Market Planning Guide
  •  Electrical contractor and industrial employment
  •  Population growth from 2017 to 2022 and from 2021 to 2022
  •  Single-family and multi-family building permits
  •  Unemployment rates
  •  Large construction projects underway or on the drawing boards

In addition to these parameters, the magazine’s editorial staff considers market idiosyncrasies and like to offer a mix of large, medium and small metros to better represent the nation as a whole, instead of just picking the mega-markets with the most sales. Each local market has a unique economic profile and economic drivers to consider. For instance, the fast-growing MSAs along Florida’s Gulf Coast rely on double-digit population growth to fuel demand for new vacation homes, senior housing and single-family homes for new residents from colder climates. Unfortunately, some of the growth of these markets over the past year must be attributed to reconstruction efforts from last fall’s Hurricane Ian.

In industrially oriented markets like the Elkhart-Goshen, IN, MSA, you must watch industrial employment data from the U.S. Census Bureau and look for news about plant expansions in that market’s dominant recreational vehicle manufacturing industry. Ditto for Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI MSA and many other Michigan markets whose economic fortunes are tied to the amount of industrial business flowing through Ford or General Motors auto plants.

It’s also hard to compare the nation’s largest metropolitan areas and the billions of dollars in sales potential with much smaller metros that may be growing at a double-digit growth rate but represent a fraction of the larger markets’ potential electrical sales. According to Electrical Marketing’s electrical sales potential data, 43 MSAs have at least $1 billion in electrical sales potential and 28 markets could generate annual sales of between $500 million and $1 billion. Another 162 metros have an estimated annual sales potential of at least $100 million. If you need market data on other local markets or all 50 states, it’s available as part of a $99 annual subscription to Electrical Marketing newsletter (www.electricalmarketing.com).

On the following pages are 10 local markets that stood out because of superior growth rates and electrical sales potential. 

About the Author

Jim Lucy | Editor-in-Chief of Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing

Jim Lucy has been wandering through the electrical market for more than 40 years, most of the time as an editor for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing newsletter, and as a contributing writer for EC&M magazine During that time he and the editorial team for the publications have won numerous national awards for their coverage of the electrical business. He showed an early interest in electricity, when as a youth he had an idea for a hot dog cooker. Unfortunately, the first crude prototype malfunctioned and the arc nearly blew him out of his parents' basement.

Before becoming an editor for Electrical Wholesaling  and Electrical Marketing, he earned a BA degree in journalism and a MA in communications from Glassboro State College, Glassboro, NJ., which is formerly best known as the site of the 1967 summit meeting between President Lyndon Johnson and Russian Premier Aleksei Nikolayevich Kosygin, and now best known as the New Jersey state college that changed its name in 1992 to Rowan University because of a generous $100 million donation by N.J. zillionaire industrialist Henry Rowan. Jim is a Brooklyn-born Jersey Guy happily transplanted with his wife and three sons in the fertile plains of Kansas for the past 30 years.