Copyright 2023 Blue Recruit Inc.

State of the Trades

Hiring Trends in the Skilled Trades for Q4–2023 and the Year in Review

1. Salary growth rates have slowed, but will remain high due to limited labor supply.

 The past several quarters indicate that salaries for skilled trade workers have experienced a slowing trend, but we fully predict that they will continue to 
remain high for the foreseeable future, mostly as a result of limited supply. 

 Despite the slowdown, the demand for skilled workers remains exceptionally strong, driven by the ongoing need for essential services and infrastructure 
development. While fluctuations in wage rates will continue throughout 2024 (especially given 2024 being a Presidential election year), the overall trajectory for skilled trades salaries is expected to remain on the higher side, making them promising career paths for those with the necessary skills and training.

2. Florida, Texas, and North Carolina are driving job creation.

 The Sunshine State held the top spot in skilled trades job creation for all but the Fourth Quarter of 2023, which saw North Carolina take the top prize. 

 Florida, Texas, and North Carolina stand out as states with a multitude of skilled trade job opportunities. These three states have experienced 
significant growth in industries that rely heavily on skilled workers, such as construction, manufacturing, and technology. Florida's thriving tourism sector
and ongoing development projects contribute to a demand for skilled tradespeople. Similarly, Texas, known for its robust energy and construction 
industries, provides ample job prospects for individuals with specialized skills. North Carolina, with its diverse economy and emphasis on technology and manufacturing, also offers a favorable environment for skilled trade employment. As these states continue to invest in infrastructure and 
technology, the demand for skilled workers is likely to persist, making them promising locations for those seeking rewarding careers.

3. The skilled labor population is mobile.

 Every quarter this year saw that at least 51% of the available labor market is open to relocating for the right opportunity. Q4 saw the highest rate at 55%. To remain competitive, employers must look beyond their backyards if they wish to fill critical talent needs. Providing relocation assistance is a key differentiator for winning the talent war. 

 Don’t forget that a major source of talent exists in trade schools and transitioning Military Service Members. The majority of these two talent pools
are not receiving training in their desired locations, and the majority of Service Members will receive government sponsored assistance when making
their post service relocation. 

4. The need for a certified and educated labor pool is growing.

 It should come as no surprise that the need for skilled workers continues to grow. However, due in part to a weakening economic forecast and colder 
weather, the requirement for those workers to hold professional certifications and industry education versus General Laborers is growing. 

 At the end of 2022, only 24% of Employers required new hires to hold any level of education. That figure has steadily climbed through all of 2023 and has now nearly doubled to 53%. 

 On the other hand, skilled trade Job Seekers are achieving levels of certification and education not seen in decades. Since COVID, traditional four-year college admissions are down, but the number of young people attending trade schools has steadily climbed. The percentage of educated Job Seekers grew by 5% in 2023. For those who prefer a more direct path to a fulfilling career, trade school is a fantastic option that offers valuable skills and a quicker route to entering the workforce.

We anticipate these trends to continue throughout 2024. 

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.

1. Salary growth rates have slowed, but will remain high due to limited labor supply.

 The past several quarters indicate that salaries for skilled trade workers have experienced a slowing trend, but we fully predict that they will continue to remain high for the foreseeable future, mostly as a result of limited supply. 

 Despite the slowdown, the demand for skilled workers remains exceptionally strong, driven by the ongoing need for essential services and infrastructure development. While fluctuations in wage rates will continue throughout 2024 (especially given 2024 being a Presidential election year), the overall trajectory for skilled trades salaries is expected to remain on the higher side, making them promising career paths for those with the necessary skills and training.

2. Florida, Texas, and North Carolina are driving job creation.

 The Sunshine State held the top spot in skilled trades job creation for all but the Fourth Quarter of 2023, which saw North Carolina take the top prize. 

 Florida, Texas, and North Carolina stand out as states with a multitude of skilled trade job opportunities. These three states have experienced significant growth in industries that rely heavily on skilled workers, such as construction, manufacturing, and technology. Florida's thriving tourism sector and ongoing development projects contribute to a demand for skilled tradespeople. Similarly, Texas, known for its robust energy and construction industries, provides ample job prospects for individuals with specialized skills. 

The end of 2023 is here, and as we do every quarter with our friends at Zillow, we bring you the trends across skilled trade hiring. Let’s review the data and analyze what it all means and what predictions they provide for 2024.

North Carolina, with its diverse economy and emphasis on technology and manufacturing, also offers a favorable environment for skilled trade employment. As these states continue to invest in infrastructure and technology, the demand for skilled workers is likely to persist, making them promising locations for those seeking rewarding careers.

3. The skilled labor population is mobile.

 Every quarter this year saw that at least 51% of the available labor market is open to relocating for the right opportunity. Q4 saw the highest rate at 55%. To remain competitive, employers must look beyond their backyards if they wish to fill critical talent needs. Providing relocation assistance is a key differentiator for winning the talent war. 

 Don’t forget that a major source of talent exists in trade schools and transitioning Military Service Members. The majority of these two talent pools are not receiving training in their desired locations, and the majority of Service Members will receive government sponsored assistance when making their post service relocation. 

4. The need for a certified and educated labor pool is growing.

 It should come as no surprise that the need for skilled workers continues to grow. However, due in part to a weakening economic forecast and colder 
weather, the requirement for those workers to hold professional certifications and industry education versus General Laborers is growing. 

 At the end of 2022, only 24% of Employers required new hires to hold any level of education. That figure has steadily climbed through all of 2023 and has now nearly doubled to 53%. 

 On the other hand, skilled trade Job Seekers are achieving levels of certification and education not seen in decades. Since COVID, traditional four-year college admissions are down, but the number of young people attending trade schools has steadily climbed. The percentage of educated Job Seekers grew by 5% in 2023. For those who prefer a more direct path to a fulfilling career, trade school is a fantastic option that offers valuable skills and a quicker route to entering the workforce.

We anticipate these trends to continue throughout 2024.