Skilled Labor Trends for Fall 2014

September 30th, 2014

The latest employment data, released this summer, look promising in many ways for the U.S. economy. For five months in a row, U.S. businesses added 200,000 jobs per month, according to a U.S. News and World Report article. The official unemployment rate has continued its downward slide, landing at 6.1 percent.

All this is good news for workers in every field, since a booming economy means more work to be done and an increased need for people who can do it. But recent economic trends indicate that fall 2014 may be particularly promising for workers in skilled trades and fields. Here’s why:

The “skilled labor shortage” continues to worry businesses.

Media outlets throughout the country have mentioned that businesses are increasingly concerned with a shortage of skilled labor in the United States. Concern is particularly high facing the shortage of experienced skilled laborers, workers who have not only learned the skills required to succeed on the job but who are regularly putting them into practice. As the economy as a whole continues to grow, the number of skilled-labor openings will grow as well – but the number of people who have both the skills and experience to fill these gaps is not expected to keep pace.

What should you do if you’re learning the skills, but are short on experience? Talk to a recruiter who can connect you both with long-term employers and with temporary or contract work that allows you to hone your skills on a particular project or topic. Then, use these intensive learning opportunities to stand out to employers looking for skilled labor.

Retiring workers aren’t being replaced.

A recent U.S. News article noted the growing problem of retirement among members of the “Baby Boomer” generation, those workers born between 1946 and 1965. Unlike other waves of retiring professionals, the “Boomer retirement” wave concerns analysts because there is no large group of younger-generation workers set to replace them. The skilled trades face this problem along with every other sector of the economy: the most experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable workers are retiring, and businesses aren’t sure how they’ll replace that expertise.

For skilled workers seeking jobs, developing skills and expertise in a particular area can be a promising way to connect with employers scrambling to replace their retiring team members.

At 1st Staffing, our experienced recruiters specialize in matching skilled-labor professionals with the right companies – in good economic times and bad. Contact us today to learn more!

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