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The Labor Market's Sudden Shift Towards Skilled Trade Workers is a Win for Blue-Collar Jobs


That's correct! According to data, skilled trade jobs have experienced double-digit growth in demand since the start of 2023. This means that there is a significant increase in the number of job opportunities available in various skilled trades. Many industries are seeking skilled laborers to fill these positions, highlighting the importance and demand for these trades in today's job market.

In spite of the skilled trade growth, it seems as if many businesses continue to experience a shortage of skilled labor or trade workers. According to recent data from PeopleReady Skilled Trades, there have been over 770,000 skilled job postings from almost 95,000 different employers across the country since the beginning of 2023. This has led to a situation where many employers are in desperate need of more workers, including Gateway Plumbing & Heating owner John Cataneo, who expressed on "America’s Newsroom" Tuesday that he could get a lot more done if he had more workers. Demand for carpenters has reportedly gone up by 23% from March to May, with stonemasons and construction laborers also experiencing a respective 45% and 18% increase in demand during the same period.

Cataneo's reflection highlights the varied nature of the building trades industry, encompassing roles such as masons, electricians, and plumbers. He describes it as good, honest work with the potential for good pay, overtime opportunities, and benefits. Cataneo also praised the training provided by unions, noting that they do a good job of training their members.

Cateno also mentioned that younger generations are not as encouraged to explore hands-on jobs as he was when he was a young man. This highlights a shift in societal attitudes towards trade professions, which may contribute to the shortage of skilled labor in these industries. Cataneo goes on to mention how he personally learned his trade craft from his father, emphasizing the importance of passing down knowledge and skills from one generation to another and mentioned that in the past, becoming a tradesperson was a popular and admired career choice amongst kids and parents. People used to have a job and stick with it for many years. However, this attitude has shifted over time, and many younger workers today tend to have quick turnarounds when it comes to employment, which has implications for the labor market. He continues by adding his experience in the current labor market, he notices that many younger workers have a quick turnaround and most workers frequently change jobs as a way to advance their careers. This means that as an employer, he needs to be cautious about investing time and money in training individuals, as there is no guarantee that they will stay and commit to the job. The New York business owner acknowledged the importance of investing in higher education for certain professions. However, he emphasized that the trade worker force is always in need of new workers. According to the Wall Street Journal, college enrollment has declined by approximately 15% over the past decade, while the number of apprentices has increased by more than 50%, based on federal and Urban Institute data. This indicates a shift in the preferences of the younger generation towards pursuing trade apprenticeships rather than traditional college education.

It's clear that the apprenticeship route is becoming increasingly attractive to individuals who are looking for viable career options beyond traditional higher education.

Overall, Cataneo highlighted the challenge for employers in finding workers who are serious about the trade and willing to remain in the field for a longer-term commitment.

Click Below to Review the Interview with Gateway Plumbing &

Heating owner John Cataneo

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Fox Business. (2023, July 21). Business News & Stock Quotes - Saving & Investing. Fox Business.

Skilled trades staffing experts. PeopleReady Skilled Trades. (2023a, July 12).


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