These days, the way that folks think about and approach work is gradually changing. Recent years have borne the rise of the freelance market, independent contractors, and the gig economy.
Moreover, there’s a greater demand than ever for jobs that allow people to work remotely at least part of the time. Many folks want more work-life balance and the ability to take on jobs and careers that fulfill them.
However, as certain industries come into inception or evolve, others are feeling the tide turning, which isn’t always a great thing. According to NPR, the trade industry is taking some serious hits as more workers look elsewhere for employment.
A Closer Look at Problems Facing the Trade Industry
Last year, a 49% decline in younger workers seeking out trade jobs, such as electrical work, plumbing, and building, took place. Now, the US Chamber of Commerce warns about a shortage of available workers to do these jobs.
Previously, the trade industry benefited from generational patterns. If a parent worked in the trade industry, their children often took up the same career path. However, that is changing as work evolves and expands.
The latest @BLS_gov jobs report is encouraging, showing an increase in labor force participation. The labor force grew by 439K in December after declining for 3 straight months, but we are still missing 2.95M workers. For solutions visit #AmericaWorks: https://t.co/3FunOHohc3 pic.twitter.com/N0uDzIGFpt
— U.S. Chamber (@USChamber) January 6, 2023
Another consequence of this is many folks who do currently work in the trade industry report feeling a sense of loneliness as fewer people gravitate toward these sorts of jobs.
The low supply of trade workers has now created a very high demand for them. Likewise, concerns about the future of infrastructure if workers keep rejecting trade industry jobs remain very real.
The Rise of AI?
Since COVID shutdowns emerged, labor shortages have wreaked havoc in the US workforce. Some industries have turned to artificial intelligence in order to counteract these shortages and keep their businesses afloat.
If human workers continue to show less and less interest in the trade industry, there’s a real possibility that AI could be brought in to close the gap. Nevertheless, AI is not without its controversies.
The "world’s first robot lawyer" will appear in court next month, assisting a defendant in fighting a traffic citation using artificial intelligence (AI) pic.twitter.com/Jx0MtTABUZ
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) January 6, 2023
Some people worry that AI will do more harm than good and end up taking jobs away from people who truly need them. Though others have a more positive perspective on AI and view it as a tool that folks can work with to become even more successful and effective in the workforce.
As technology becomes increasingly prevalent in people’s lives, time will tell what lies ahead for AI and its presence in the workforce. However, Americans can expect to hear more about what’s to come in the trade industry going forward.
What do you think the future of the US trade industry looks like? Do you believe human workers will eventually return to these jobs or will artificial intelligence have to step in to fill the gap?
Please let us know your predictions in the comments area.