2019 is the Year for Blue-Collar Workers


Last year we saw an increasing demand for blue-collar workers and we will continue to see that demand grow in 2019. More students are graduating high school and headed off to college liberal arts programs and leaving a gap where new blue-collar workers would be entering the workforce. I have written before about how choosing a college program in favor of blue-collar work can put some high school graduates at a disadvantage as college degrees aren’t really the best choice for every student. This continues to be the case as blue-collar jobs have to be increasing competitive with their recruiting.

A new report from the Conference Board details how blue-collar labor shortages are worse than the white-collar market and in 2019 it will reach historic levels. Some of the industries with the most demand for workers are production, manufacturing and transportation. Other industries impacted include as agriculture, utilities, construction, accommodation and food services, repair, maintenance, and personal care services.

If you’re a company who employs mainly blue-collar workers the constant competition for workers and diminished profits resulting from increasing wages to remain competitive will continue this year. The outlook for workers is quite different, with workers reporting satisfaction with their continued wage growth and position.

Many companies who employ blue-collar workers are revamping their hiring process to lower education or experience requirements and offer more training to new workers to help make up for their initial gap. I cannot help but mention how AcuMax may fit into this shift, if you’re hiring a new worker who may not have the background to display their ability to do the job it doesn’t mean that you are left with no means to figure out an applicant’s potential within a position. An AcuMax assessment can help you take a look at a candidate’s hardwiring to see whether their profile would make them more likely to succeed in a position.

Another option that companies are looking at is shifting where they are sourcing their talent from. They are having to look at where the talent is and possibly move locations or staff more heavily in locations where there is a greater concentration of blue-collar workers.