Private security spending tends to take a hit during tough economic times. But according to IBISWorld research, private security is expected to grow more than 6 percent in 2012, which represents the largest gain the industry has seen in the past nine years.
IBIS research indicates that increasing optimism is causing many businesses to re-evaluate their business security investments. With the economy of the upswing, many companies are once again budgeting more dollars for contracted security and other line items, driving industry revenue to increase by 4.9 percent to $32.85 billion by 2015.
"We're excited about the projected growth in the private security industry," said Reed Nyffeler, CEO of Signal 88 Security, Inc. "Making businesses and communities feel more at ease through our presence and patrols is at the core of what we do every day."
At the same time, nagging concerns about unemployment and the fragile state of the economy are creating perceptions that benefit private security firms, causing individuals and organizations to take added precautions against crimes of opportunity.
"When our economic outlook is bleak, individuals tend to think that their personal safety is in jeopardy," adds Nyffeler. "We often see individuals taking extra security precautions for themselves, their families and their personal property during a bleak economic cycle. As unemployment rates remain high and homes continue to go into foreclosure, concerns for public safety heighten -- and so does the need for private security."
Alert Protective, which offers security systems for businesses in the Chicago area, is another firm that is seeing an uptick in business security activity. Owner Chuck Mishoulam said that "Many people don't realize it but businesses are four times more likely to be burglarized than homes." He notes that contracting private security is not the only way to achieve business peace of mind. "Having a security guard is important for some businesses, but a good commercial security system with remote monitoring will suffice for most companies," commented Mishoulam.
The private security industry may also be poised to reap gains from public sector downsizing. The February 2012 jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 20% of the industries with the highest employment declines are government agencies and municipalities. As public safety positions are eliminated (including law enforcement jobs), it's expected that the public sector's demand for contracted security will increase.
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