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Industry's Skilled Labor Shortage Worse Than Pre-Pandemic

Labor + Trade Relations

Industry's Skilled Labor Shortage Worse Than Pre-Pandemic

August 5, 2021
house painter
Photo: auremar |

There were 50% more construction job openings between May and June 2021 than before the pandemic, with most positions remaining open for an average of 24 days. The skilled labor shortage has been an ongoing issue in the industry for years, and it's only worsened during the pandemic, according to data from PeopleReady Skilled Trades. Skilled trades were one of the few industries where job openings increased month to month throughout the pandemic, but the number of skilled tradespeople remained unchanged. PeopleReady Skilled Trades notes the industry has significant opportunities for those looking for a career change.

"Whether you're someone who left the skilled trades to pursue other work or are looking to get your start on a new career path in a booming industry, now is a great time to join the skilled trades. The jobs not only pay well and provide steady employment but can also offer the kind of flexibility workers are looking for right now," said Jill Quinn, executive leader of PeopleReady Skilled Trades. "We are seeing explosive growth in the skilled trades industry right now. As businesses struggle to find skilled tradespeople amid current workforce challenges, more of them are turning to contingent workforces to help get the job done."

According to the analysis comparing job posting growth since before the pandemic, some of the skilled jobs that have seen the most growth include:

  • Concrete masons top the list with 904% growth in demand compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
  • Job postings for window glaziers soared 422%.
  • House painters saw a 329% increase.
  • Electricians have risen130%.
  • Plumbers are up 129%.
  • And carpenters are up 121%.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades notes that in addition to the need for skilled tradespeople, there are also plenty of helper or beginner positions available in nearly all of the trades for those looking to get their start in the skilled trades.

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