Private security industry poised for continued growth

B.C.’s largest security companies grew an average of 6.1% over the past year

B.C.’s private security industry is growing, according to data collected for Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Security Companies in B.C. list.

Employment at the 20 companies on the list grew an average of 6.1% over the past year. However, that growth was mostly concentrated at the list’s top end. The median employee growth was significantly lower (0.5%) suggesting that smaller companies further down the list grew slower than their larger counterparts.

The average growth of 12.62% for the top five companies was more than double that of the overall list. That top-five growth rate was largely inflated by the 42.7% employee increase at Guardteck Security Co. When Guardteck is excluded, the average drops to 5.7%.

Over the past five years, the top five companies with complete data available increased their B.C. employment by an average of 30.9%. Paladin Security Group had the largest five-year increase in B.C. employment. It was up 75.25% to 4,425 employees in 2020 from 2,525 in 2015.

And the industry is expected to continue to flourish.

According to a report from market research firm IBISWorld, the industry is projected to expand as increased employment, higher consumer spending and new business drive demand for security services.

The rising value of non-residential construction is also expected to contribute to the industry’s growth as higher corporate profits increase security budgets.

According to the IBISWorld report, the industry’s annual revenue is expected to increase 0.4% to $5.9 billion in 2023.

B.C.’s security industry is punching above its weight. With roughly 13% of the country’s population and economy, the province is home to 19.4% of Canada’s security companies, according to the report.

The booming construction sector is helping drive B.C. security industry growth because real estate developments need security services. The report also noted that B.C. security companies benefit from a high concentration of offices and businesses.

Nationally, industrial, energy, technology, manufacturing and other corporate clients are the largest market segment for security companies. According to the IBISWorld report, they contributed 34%, or $1.9 billion, to the $5.8 billion the industry generated in 2018.•