A bright future? The electrical industry in 2023

A bright future? The electrical industry in 2023

5th December 2022

A bright future? The electrical industry in 2023

It’s been another year of challenges for the electrical industry, with coronavirus lockdowns giving way to a cost-of-living crisis, and soaring energy costs.

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These issues look set to continue way into the new year, but how do electricians feel as we approach the start of 2023?

We surveyed workers from across the UK to gauge the level of optimism within the electrical sector and get their view on the major challenges facing the industry in the next 12 months.

This report highlights the main results from the research and reveals the outlook for 2023, according to UK electricians.


Current confidence

Bright Future


With the UK’s economy set to be in recession for longer than any downturn since the 1920s, according to the Bank of England, the cost-of-living crisis is likely to continue way into 2023, if not longer.

It is therefore unsurprising that many electricians feel wary as we head into the new year. Almost a fifth (19%) think it’ll be a challenging time for the industry, and 10% think their companies will find it tough.

However, these numbers are lower than they were at this time last year (22% vs 19%, and 14% vs 10% respectively), as revealed in our 2022 report, perhaps suggesting a slightly higher level of confidence.

Despite wider societal problems, electricians are generally feeling more optimistic about the industry than they were 12 months ago. More than a quarter (26%) think that 2023 will be positive for their company – up from 15% last year – and one in seven (14%) electrical companies say they are looking to hire new staff.

Across the UK, the number of job vacancies in the Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply sector has remained fairly steady all year, hovering around the 6,000 mark, despite listings falling by over 60,000 nationally since January.

Generally, electricians are looking upwards, and more than a third (37%) think that they’ll be in a stronger financial position by this time next year.

Other key results include:

·         10% think they’ll have more work in 2023

·         8% think they’ll have better job security

·         19% think that the industry will be healthier in 2023 than in 2022


Young electricians are most likely to feel confident about their company’s prospects in the future. Almost two in five (39%) millennial workers (25-34s) think their business will perform well in 2023, followed by around a third (32%) of 35–44-year-olds. This drops to just 17% amongst electricians aged 55 and over, but this is similar to their figure from last year’s report.

The new generation of electricians are also the most optimistic for an upturn in job security, with 11% of millennials hoping for a more stable work landscape.


Electrical companies in Cardiff are the most likely to be hiring new staff in 2023, with 29% anticipating a recruitment drive, slightly ahead of Birmingham (25%) and London (18%).

Electricians in Bristol are the most optimistic for better job security (33%), ahead of London (14%), while those in Nottingham are the most likely to think 2023 will be a better year for their company (50%).

The challenges ahead

Bright Future

As was the case last year, the main worry for electricians as we head into 2023 is the rising cost of materials (48%). However, the amount of workers citing this as a concern has more than doubled (from 23%), suggesting the problem is growing.

Rising fuel costs are predicted to be the second biggest challenge in 2023, and with electricians typically travelling over 6,000 miles a year for jobs, the impact of petrol and diesel increases is significant.

Another rising issue is customers attempting more DIY work themselves, rather than hiring professionals. According to YouGov, just one in eight (12%) UK adults always get tradespeople to do jobs around the home, meaning the vast majority attempt at least some DIY, and more than a quarter (27%) of electricians say that this is impacting on their workload.

Simply getting hold of materials is also proving difficult (21%). Research from our sister company, IronmongeryDirect, recently found that more than four in five (84%) electricians have struggled to source materials in the last year.

Sustainability is a new addition to the top list of challenges, with more and more customers enquiring about the environmental impact of projects, encouraging electricians to adjust their practices. Our recent study found that four in five (80%) people in the electrical industry don’t feel confident discussing sustainability with clients, but the conversation is not going to go away, so electricians should try to upskill themselves in this area if possible.

The wider trade industry

Across all trades in the UK, a fifth (20%) of workers believe that their companies will have a good year in 2023, and a similar number (21%) think that they’ll be better off financially.

Roofers are most likely to be optimistic for the new year (38%), just ahead of electricians.

The trades most likely to think that 2023 will be a good year for their companies are:

 Window fabricators are the most likely companies to be recruiting, with almost a third (32%) planning to hire new staff.

London is the best place to look for jobs, as over a quarter (28%) of trade companies in the capital say they are seeking additional workers.


As we head into a new year, check out our full range electrical products, from lighting to heating, so you’re fully prepared for whatever 2023 may hold.



[1] Survey of 500 UK tradespeople conducted by The Leadership Factor on behalf of ElectricalDirect

[2] https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/recession-warning-bank-of-england-warns-interest-rates-inflation-b1037335.html

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/datasets/vacanciesbyindustryvacs02

[4] YouGov Profiles+ Great Britain 2022-11-27: ‘When it comes to home improvement, which, if any, of the following most accurately describes your preferences in completing the project?’