As we flipped the calendar on a new year, 2024 kicked off with a great deal of both uncertainty and apprehension given the macroeconomic conditions. As such, our deep dive into the State of the Skilled Trades industry this quarter alongside our friends at Zillow is more important than ever.


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1. Demand for skilled workers remains exceptionally high; however, the demand and salary growth rates experienced during the pandemic have plateaued.

  • While trade professionals like HVAC Technicians and Carpenters remain high due to constant shortage of qualified and talent workers, other trade salaries have plateaued. We anticipate pay rates to remain steady throughout 2024. Be sure to visit BlueCareer to check your organization’s compliance with current salary ranges in your area.
  • Q1 also saw Employers’ requirements for Job Seekers increase for trades requiring lower skillsets and/or certifications. For the first time since Spring 2020, a majority of Employers are requiring new hires to have both a criminal record and an active Driver’s License. Such a move is a clear indicator of a tightening labor market.


2. For the second straight quarter, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida lead in skilled trade job creation.

  • Repeating its performance from Q4-2023, New York saw the highest level of job creation outside of the South. The good news for NY residents is Zillow’s recent report that Buffalo, New York, is one of the best housing markets for first-time home buyers!
  • In no surprise to anyone following the trades, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida maintain the top spots for job creation. The single greatest challenge for continued growth in these states throughout 2024 will be the availability of affordable housing given the overall shortage and high interest rates.
  • Although further down the list than their population would suggest, California was the quarter’s second fastest growing market as it continues to play catchup from prolonged COVID shutdowns.


3. The home construction sector has a greater need for talent than nearly every other trade industry.

  • For the first time in the history of the State of the Trades, common Home Building trades account for 60% of the most in-demand trades in America.
  • The coming Spring and Summer months will further drive demand in this area, and with continuously high interest rates, we anticipate the need for Home Service professionals to be statistically high given the need for home owners to extend the life of their existing residences with routine maintenance.

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 seeking their talent. They remove the inefficiencies of resumes and job posts and focus on the skills and experiences that matter.