The Q2 State of the Trades is here! Along with our friends at Zillow New Construction, we took a deep dive into the trends of skilled trade hiring, and there are some interesting insights.

Q2 data produced two major take-aways:

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Markets are significantly adjusting to a post COVID economy:

  • For the first time in three years, three Northern States are amongst the states with the greatest number of open jobs nationwide. This can be directly attributed to the elimination of COVID restrictions throughout the US (thank goodness). While Florida and Texas continue to experience tremendous growth, we anticipate a rebalance of labor demand for the Southeast, Northeast, California, and Rust Belt regions. Massachusetts made the Top 10 list for the first time in the history of the SoTT.
  • Job Seekers continue to be open to relocation. Hey, home builders, we’ve got good news…A majority of Job Seekers, 54%, a 3% increase from Q1, are open to relocating for the right opportunity. This is a major factor for Employers to keep in mind as a tool for increasing their talent pool. Side note, most workers will make the move for $5,000 in relocation assistance.
  • The Automotive Industry is exploding!!! For the second consecutive quarter, Auto Mechanics/Technicians remain the most in demand trades people nationwide, and their average hourly pay continues to climb. There is currently a shortage of 640,000 Automotive Technicians nationwide, and with more workers returning to the office and summer travel at pre-pandemic levels, the demand will only continue to grow.
  • Asphalt and Concrete Finishers are both amongst the most in demand professionals for the fourth straight quarter. This is a trend that began with the initial release of Infrastructure Bill funds, and we anticipate these careers being in high demand for years to come.

Employers are increasing Job Seeker requirements:

  • As we have been predicting in past SoTTs, the percentage of Employers that are waiving Criminal Backgrounds, not having an active Driver’s License, and/or having any Education minimums are all declining. In Q3-2022, a whopping 80% of Employers were waiving Criminal Backgrounds, and 77% had no minimum Education requirements for new hires. These figures have all steadily declined since their high, and we anticipate them to continue to decline for as long as interest rates and inflation remain high and sentiment towards the economy weaken.
  • Although demand for skilled trade workers is extremely high (HVAC techs – y’all will probably rank #1 in demand for Q3), the continued fear of recession and high inflation is slowing hiring and allowing Employers to become slightly more selective with applicants. This is good news for Job Seekers, as average hourly pay continues to climb. Pro Tip: Don’t automatically decline an applicant because of a criminal record. Take the time to get to know the person and see how they have learned from the experience. After all, holding a steady job is the #1 method for preventing recidivism, and you’ll likely have an extremely loyal employee.
Meet BlueRecruit – Built for the Trades
BlueRecruit is a direct-hire marketplace for skilled-trade workers who want to build their careers and the companies desperate for their talent. They have removed the inefficiencies of resumes and job posts and focus on the skills and experiences that matter.