5 Trends As Software Starts To Eat Into The Skilled Trades In 2022

by Staff

The modern employment landscape is both scary and exciting. The gig economy, eCommerce apps, and independent contractors can address labor shortages, but they also make it hard for employers to promise stability. With that said, how will software impact the skilled trades?

2022 Trends Impacting the Skilled Trades

As the construction industry gets used to the new normal, it’s important to consider how they’ll restaff their workforce and retain a healthy cash flow before and during the upcoming recession.

1. Technology and Software are Non-Negotiable

Some industries were slow to adopt new technologies, but none were as resistant to tech as the trades. At first, this reluctance makes sense. It takes several years of hands-on training and experience to master a single trade, and there’s a fear that technology will disrupt their career.


However, this industry can use technology to help tradespeople get the training they need. VR simulators allow trade school students to get familiar with their duties in a safe environment, while an electrical software estimating tool can effortlessly calculate repair and service bills.

2. Unhappy and Unemployed Americans Want Stability

The pandemic pulled the rug out from under us, but it gave organizations insight into what workers want. Working-class Americans want to work a living wage under a leader that cares about their well-being. But above all else, Americans want stable jobs and retirement funds.


The skilled trades industry is proven to be a stable part of the workforce. People always need electricians, bus drivers, garbage collectors, hair stylists, nurses, and janitors. And yes, despite what others may believe, bus driving, garbage collecting, and janitoring are skilled trades.

3. Addressing the Skilled Labor Shortage Immediately

Although the unemployment rate in the US rests at 3.5% in September 2022 (which is the same unemployment rate pre-covid), there are still two job vacancies for every unemployed American. It’s estimated the skilled labor force will need four million people to replace COVID layoffs.


Unfortunately, a skilled trade can take 2 to 6 years to learn, with an average of 4 years, making it very difficult for companies to staff their workforce. Construction should also rebuild its reputation, as many avoid the industry because jobs are seen as unglamorous or low paying.

4. Attracting a Younger Workforce is Necessary

While it’s true that learning a skilled trade takes time, it’s still a good idea to attract a younger workforce. The trade education pipeline is overflowing with talented graduates, and companies must create partnerships with these schools to find long-term employees and contractors.


But why stop there? If the construction industry really wants to source talent, they can partner with nearby high schools and colleges. Or, better yet, they can create their own apprenticeship program that allows inexperienced tradespeople to earn a living while gaining valuable skills.

5. Retaining Talent is a Pressing Issue in Need of Fixing

Talent retention is an industry-wide problem, but to address this, we have to understand why construction workers leave in the first place. Construction workers are usually paid well, but they often face dangerous working conditions that their training nor health benefits protect against.


To retain high-quality construction talent, the industry needs to improve its health and safety standards, tackle language barriers, and offer decent learning opportunities. If a company promises career growth but takes too long to provide it, employees will leave for good.

In Conclusion…

The construction industry is struggling to find talent, which is why the majority of their trends try to address this. Automation and software won’t be able to replace all jobs. While technology can make your employee’s life easier, a computer can’t perform most skilled tradesman duties.

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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