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Blue-Collar Labor Market for Restorers
Overview: U.S. Blue-Collar Labor MarketAccording to The Conference Board, the US labor market will continue to experience shortage until the year 2030. This finding was based on a survey that was conducted on over 200 HR executives in the US. The majority of those that were surveyed were from blue-collar industries and they cited more difficulty hiring talent than those in the white-collar industries. It’s not just the pandemic (and the global economic recession that followed) that is to blame here. This trend has been steadily increasing even before the pandemic. The recent crisis merely highlighted the challenges that were faced by these industries, especially those in the restoration and service businesses.
Reasons for the Blue-Collar Labor ShortageThe main reason why the blue-collar labor market is so tight is due to a limited supply of skilled workers and an increasing demand for them. There are also many factors that can be attributed to these labor market challenges, including:
- The baby boomers, which made up most of the blue-collar labor workforce, are leaving their jobs as most of them are set to retire. They are leaving behind a lot of positions to fill and not a lot of access to talent that can replace them.
- The younger workforce is opting to avoid trade jobs. Thus, the options continue to shrink among those who choose to pursue blue-collar jobs.
- There is an overall decline in labor force participation among the younger generation. Many are living with parents and have less need to earn income on their own.
- The share of Americans choosing to work in blue-collar industries is shrinking as they become more educated or gain a college degree. This has caused a skilled labor shortage in the US labor market.
- There exists a stigma that blue-collar jobs involve labor-intensive work. And there is a misconception that blue-collar work offers low and stagnant wages.
Opportunities for Restoration in the Blue-Collar Labor ForceOn the flip side of these challenges, there are also opportunities that are emerging in the blue-collar labor market in the U.S. For example, the shortage in labor workforce translates to bigger paychecks for those being hired. And a higher paycheck leads to a higher level of satisfaction with their jobs. This claim is supported in this news report from CNBC, citing a significant wage boom in the blue-collar industry. With the economy reopening, there is a substantial demand for blue-collar workers. The solution that has been considered by employers is to increase the wage per hour for employees in order to entice them to rejoin the workforce.
How Does Generation Z Fit In to Your Restoration Company?Gen Z workers who are looking to pursue a career in the blue-collar industry are quite discerning about their options. Their expectations about joining the workforce are far different from the baby boomers or the generations before them. As a result, it requires adaptation on the part of the employers, particularly those who want to win the recruitment game. As the newest entrants to the workforce, recruitment teams must understand this audience in order to execute a successful recruitment strategy. Here are some of the things that Gen Z wants in the workplace, especially those looking for a blue-collar job (we’ll call them Blue Z’s):
- Salary – Salary ranks at the top among Gen Z workers when it comes to considering whether to accept a job or not. However, since many of these workers are first-timers, their expectations are across the board. It is important to keep an open-mind when negotiating salary.
- Work-Life Balance – Generation Z understands it is difficult to completely shut off work once you step out of the office. Therefore, they are stepping away from the typical concept of work-life balance and demand flexibility in terms of taking time off when needed.
- Benefits – Just like the generations before them, Gen Z workers expect to receive the most basic forms of employee benefits, including medical insurance, retirement savings, and vacation packages, among other things. New and more innovative benefits programs can also appeal to Blue Z’s.