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HOT TOPIC Blue Collar Recession

collin_e

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I’ve been in the service industry my entire life, and I’ve notice a continuing trend among every industry; you can’t drive past a business without a help wanted sign. Even state townships have big signs “looking for help”.

Being young, I don’t remeber much, or ever paid attention to things like this, but this trend worries me. We’ve been looking for an auto tech for over a year, every shop is looking. Heck a shop in Pittsburg is looking for 74 people to hire.

I’m not sure if it’s a generational trend but it just kinda sickining to me that blue collar jobs have a workforce shortage..
 

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Darn, you mean you can't hire someone with a degree in Gender Studies and a minor in 16th Century Poetry?
 

socaldude

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I’m not sure if it’s a generational trend but it just kinda sickining to me that blue collar jobs have a workforce shortage..
It's pretty much a generational thing. Where our education system has basically looked down on these kind of "dirty jobs". And tries to push as much people into colleges where the skills taught there are basically worthless.

And yet they are just as respectable and pay just as much as white collar jobs.

I graduated a few years ago with a degree in finance and was completely worthless.

I was better off becoming a plumber, welder or mechanic etc.
 

Jeff InfoPreneur

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I'm also afraid that we are raising a generation of "entitled" kids who have been convinced they should walk right into an $80K+/yr job without learning the ropes and paying their dues...when I started at $3/hr I was happy to have a SHOT and knew right from the start that this was just the beginning. Each year I worked my way up, when I hit the top, I moved to another company until I realized I needed to be running my own gig -- but that took 20 freakin years...and all the jobs prior taught me valuable lessons about business, customers, marketing, etc...

Crazy how kids today think they know it all and can waltz right into a high-level position without paying their dues and learning first

Damn...sound like a grumpy old fart :)


I’ve been in the service industry my entire life, and I’ve notice a continuing trend among every industry; you can’t drive past a business without a help wanted sign. Even state townships have big signs “looking for help”.

Being young, I don’t remeber much, or ever paid attention to things like this, but this trend worries me. We’ve been looking for an auto tech for over a year, every shop is looking. Heck a shop in Pittsburg is looking for 74 people to hire.

I’m not sure if it’s a generational trend but it just kinda sickining to me that blue collar jobs have a workforce shortage..[/QUOT
 
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collin_e

collin_e

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How do you solve a problem this big? We ended up hiring a less experience mechanic; and I’ve been working with him and teaching him. Problem with auto mechanic is the steep learning curve, but he’s been doing well.

I’ve though about opening a “tech school” that actually teaches you real world auto mechanic, not this $40k “certificate” that says you can use fancy equipment, repair shops know as UTI, OTC, etc.
 

scott wisniewsk

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Ya Think. All high schools and parents have stressed go to college , its the only way to get a good job. This has been going on for years and the effects have showed up big time. This last recession cleared out alot of the building trades .Alot of companies as begging for help , sign on bonus , free training etc. Not everyone goes to the office to work . You can start in the trades at a good pay and have no school debt to repay .
 

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I just returned from a national conference for apprenticeship coordinators (teachers) for the building trades.
I talked to trainers from every corner of the country. They all said the same thing.

There is a dire hiring shortage of responsible applicants that aren't carrying baggage ie: felonies, drug convictions, h.s dropouts, non GED, etc.

One of them said, "It seems the heaviest thing many want to push is a mouse."

It is sad that labor doesn't get the same respect as many white collar jobs. It is also sad that much of what we learn in school is of little use in the real world. I mean, what will help out the most in a real life scenario, knowing the names of Columbus's three ships or knowing how to balance a checkbook or changing a tire or your oil if you had to.

Low supply and higher demand creates higher wages in the skilled trades which of course transfers back to the end user. Short of robotics taking over, which eventually will happen in many areas, wages will continue to grow, just because of a labor shortage. Plus, the skills learned can be implemented in so many different ways in real life.

I don't see how it can hurt anybody to have a trade that they could fall back on if needed....
 

Tommo

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I'm also afraid that we are raising a generation of "entitled" kids who have been convinced they should walk right into an $80K+/yr job without learning the ropes and paying their dues...when I started at $3/hr I was happy to have a SHOT and knew right from the start that this was just the beginning. Each year I worked my way up, when I hit the top, I moved to another company until I realized I needed to be running my own gig -- but that took 20 freakin years...and all the jobs prior taught me valuable lessons about business, customers, marketing, etc...

Crazy how kids today think they know it all and can waltz right into a high-level position without paying their dues and learning first

Damn...sound like a grumpy old fart :)
It's always been like this. My Fathers generation thought the same about me, a fifties child. Give the Millenials a bit of leeway, we mostly see wankers due to the media pushing this division. That's the agenda.
 

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Yup, I saw this trend coming awhile ago when I was back in HS in 2005ish. All of the 'troubled' kids ended up going to Voc. I wanted to learn some things over there but my teachers discouraged me because i was an 'A' Student and I will do well in college.

I still fell for the rat race and went off to school and got a chemistry degree and a MBA to boot. I now hold a job that can afford a house, kids, and my wife to stay home if she wanted but at the same time I have looming student loan debt thats growing and it feels like it could've been avoided if i just went straight to machining or welding.

I taught chemistry a few years ago, and I spoke against the crowd a bit. I was surprised that even teachers also shame the kids that go to Voc and make them want to drop out and end up being burdens. I should make this clear, I taught at a Deaf school, my thinking was trades are the best way out for those kids not some college degree and I was faced with some backlash for supporting kids to working after school and giving extra credit and slightly less homework for having a paycheck. (I went back to the workforce because the chemist paycheck is significantly much more than teaching)

My thinking was when will the knowledge of 'moles vs mass' will help their confidence and success.

Its been a long term goal of mine to be able to make a service/bluecollar job where I can hire Deaf people and give them a real shot to build a skill and earn money instead of living off disability welfare. The truth is, i haven't started it because I dont know what just yet.

I've noticed a trend, people that can't work usually really want to work... people that don't want to work will sink to the bottom regardless of their disability/race/sexual identity.
 

andviv

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Another challenge is for girls.

When I asked about trade schools for my daughters, people thought I was out of my mind. Women can’t do that type of work, everybody knows that!
 

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Andy Black

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There's a couple of tradesmen upstairs insulating a room as I write this. We had this conversation yesterday. I said there'll be a shortage of tradesmen in a few years. They said there is already.

My stepson is in his 4th year of a business management degree. He *hates* it. He just wants to get out there, graft, and make some coin. He had a couple of summer jobs a few years ago: one working with my wife in an accounts payable office, one working for his dad in a large warehouse. I'm delighted he's learned early on that he has no interest to work in an office.

I don't know why everyone wants their kids to become cubicle jockeys.

If any of my sons wanted to become tradesmen instead of going to college then I'd be all for it.

Tradesmen end up working for themselves pretty soon. Their goals aren't a corner office with nice chair, climbing the career ladder in someone else's company. "Ooo, he could work for Google or Facebook. They're in Dublin." Err, no. Feck that.

I like having trademen as clients. I have an affinity for the craftsman who lives by his ability to make sales, deliver, and generate good word-of-mouth.

We've a lot to learn from tradesmen, and bugger all to learn from the typical MBA grad.


(EDIT: It's not going to be a recession for the blue collar workers.)
 

minivanman

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It hasn't always been like it is nowadays in America. It's nothing like it was back in the 70's & 80's.... not even close. This is a very large part of the reasons I sold my cleaning businesses. In 1 city, the city of Dallas they are in need of over 20,000 construction workers. It's NEVER been that bad there in history. In Fort Worth I don't know what the numbers are but I'd say we are almost as bad so what that means is that within 30 minutes, we are in need of over 40,000 construction workers and that does NOT include the other 100 towns within this 1 metroplex. I'm involved with several businesses and almost all of them can't find much help and if they do find someone, it seems as though they are the low end of the totem pole. I can usually help the business owners work with a low IQ but it's really difficult to work with lazy people. We don't need to give the millennials a break.... they stay on break.

This thread just hit me.... I'm always helping to get more customers but I need to change my focus to helping them get more and better workers. I don't know why I've been set on getting the customers and letting them worry about getting the workers.

My grandson has his head set on being an auto mechanic but I've put it in his head to not work for someone else, own the business. Even if it's just him. The 1 thing I try to get through his head is that I am not like everyone else. Don't think you can sleep until 11am if you want. I'm just afraid he will turn 18 and think, well grandpa sleeps until 11am and makes a lot of money so I can do that too. I'm always telling him stories of the cleaning business so he realizes I worked 24/7 for almost 20 years. He is one of the smarter people in the family so I think he will do just fine.... but ya never know....
 

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I don't buy that it's purely people refusing to go to trade school. At the moment we have the lowest levels of employment we've had in many decades in a variety of cities, including some of the most important ones in the world. Every company is finding is hard to hire, it's just that white collar companies don't tend to put "for hire" signs outside, they hire online and through networking.

Talk to a recruiter, they'll tell you how many vacancies there are right now in every market with very few people looking for any type of work. This links to @MJ DeMarco 's thread about an impending market correction. There is incredibly low unemployment right now and that tends to create many of the market conditions that we see currently, which generate bubbles in real estate etc.
 

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I don't buy that it's purely people refusing to go to trade school. At the moment we have the lowest levels of employment we've had in many decades in a variety of cities, including some of the most important ones in the world. Every company is finding is hard to hire, it's just that white collar companies don't tend to put "for hire" signs outside, they hire online and through networking.

Talk to a recruiter, they'll tell you how many vacancies there are right now in every market with very few people looking for any type of work. This links to @MJ DeMarco 's thread about an impending market correction. There is incredibly low unemployment right now and that tends to create many of the market conditions that we see currently, which generate bubbles in real estate etc.

I think you'll be surprised, STEM is heavily saturated and their expectations doesn't lineup with what the application is asking for.

There even was a time where I had to teach to get a paystub because there wasn't any openings available

Now, I'm a chemist with 8 years experience, I've been also trying to break the 50k/year 'median' income ever since I've graduated. I got my MBA in April of 2017 to try and get a higher spot such as a lab manager.

I've learned to keep in touch with recruiters, cold email companies' decision makers to personally introduce myself and such. I've been applying internally and externally for over a year on at least a weekly basis to try and advance my career.

Still no luck, I've had conversations with the recruiters, companies in my field right now have a lot of leverage due to the status of the economy are willing to wait for someone overqualified to apply, such as a PhD or someone with 30 years experience for the salary I'm looking for.

Thankfully I found the FLM and the FLF because I don't see a career advancement in my near future. So I need to create other streams of income to grow and improve my fiscal status.
 

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It's not so much about money, it's more of a class system.

The middle class are the academics, they're the ones who make their kids go to college. They see blue-collar jobs as beneath them. So even though their kids won't be able to support themselves with their degree, at least it looks good to all their friends.

Behold the cycle of delusion.
 

Ninjakid

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I don't know why everyone wants their kids to become cubicle jockeys.
Last year I talked to a guy who was like my age, and he told me about how he has an office job now and entering the "adult world."

I could literally see the life leaving his eyes as he told me about it.
 

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Going to college has two conflicting promises. People outside of the college/university system, like your parents, tell you to go to college so that you can secure a high-paying, stable career. Once you get there, however, you're encouraged by those within the system, like your professors, to pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake, and that learning for the sake of learning is some noble endeavor. This isn't universally true. My accounting professors understood exactly why we were in that specific program - stable, high-paying jobs.

Blue collar work isn't sexy. It's associated with manual labor, back pain by the time you're 40, and coming home sweaty and dirty every day. Office work, on the other hand, is thought of as clean, organized, and stable (in reality it's dreadfully monotonous, and you'll still get back pain at 40).

Blue collar work is hard. It's physically demanding, and you need to evolve into a legitimate business if you want to find true financial success. If you're a grunt, would you rather make $15-20/hr as a mechanic, or $15-20/hr as a bookkeeper? Different strokes for different folks.

There are countless useless, unmarketable degrees being pushed by universities. I think that the vast majority of the people who obtain some of those degrees have no business being in college. I have a friend who got a degree in communications simply because it was the easiest major for him to graduate with. What the hell? Now he works in sales and is doing well for himself, but he set himself back $50k and 4 years getting the degree.
 

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That's the nice thing about capitalism. It will balance out if given enough time (and not manipulated).

As a side note, there are ways for you to profit from this. You can produce some of the work in-house (for cheap) as opposed to outsourcing (getting more expensive). This was a normal practice until the 90's when outsourcing become more mainstream as a cost cutting measure. By moving this work back in-house, you can actually take financial advantage of this sway in economics.

For example: I build houses so my main stream of income is from the sale of the house. Recently though, I have brought several trades back in-house. We install our own interior trim, flooring and interior painting etc. The profit level of the work of these trades is starting to become as great as the sale of the house. So I win on both sides.
 

andviv

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The profit level of the work of these trades is starting to become as great as the sale of the house. So I win on both sides.
Are you training your own staff from scratch, or hiring people with years of experience?
 

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Are you training your own staff from scratch, or hiring people with years of experience?
I try to hire people with the right work ethic. Experience is less of an issue for me because we provide a very hands-on/teaching environment. Find the right person, pay them a nice rate and train them to do more.
 

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collin_e

collin_e

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Am I saying this right; “low unemployement is a sign of market unsettlement?”

That confuses me in the sense that how would an economy be weak if jobs are full, people are spending money, and businesses are growing. I think that the “Blue Collar Recession” has more to with the high salarys that degree jobs promise.

The problem I see, how do you change an entire generational thought of the white collar dream. I know we’d pay good money to have a A-level tech delivered to our door!
 

Dramolion

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That confuses me in the sense that how would an economy be weak if jobs are full, people are spending money, and businesses are growing. I think that the “Blue Collar Recession” has more to with the high salarys that degree jobs promise.
If companies are having trouble hiring personel, this will effect these companies and thus the economy;
basically the economy can't grow without more workers, if it can't grow for a while there is a good chance it will shrink instead.(after which it can grow again)
 

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No welders, no fabricators, no machinists, precious few engineers, draftmen, detailers.
AND
everything in this country has to be replaced in the next 25 years. Not just roads and bridges..... the plant that makes bread / window cleaner / toilet paper tubes. All that piping, all those tanks, all those machines. Are all in terrible condition.

I go talk to middle schools. Talk to them about college isn't for everyone and if they are good with their hands they can make really good money. I take scout groups to the local machine shops. Them and their parents get to see machining centers, lasers cutting steel. The kids are amazed and their parents didn't even know this place existing 5 miles from their houses.

We are fighting the advertising dollars of college football and an entire generation that put a stigma on blue collar. Just have to expose kids to the opportunity and let them decide for themselves!!

Need money for a side hustle, go down to the local fab shop and pass a drug test. You can work all the hours you want!

Could be a good INE ...... a long play on getting welding and fabricating talent / staffing for local shops. You start on the groups in 8th grade and have weekend fab-a-thons at local shops while also partnering with the local trade school. Buy the local middle school a 3d printer in return for talking to their kids and their families. The kids that are not making A's or would later consider the military are your first pass. The long play is teaching the local region that being a welder is cool and you can make bank.
 

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Having the same problem in the Food Industry...10 different website where we posted our Job Post, we even put ads on them on the main website, 60 CVs..3 of them were acceptable, we had to take semi non -experienced people and teach them everything.

The young generation is lazy, naïve and think that they will have a money drop by magic and won't have to work another day in their life.
 
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Having the same problem in the Food Industry...10 different website where we posted our Job Post, we even put ads on them on the main website, 60 CVs..3 of them were acceptable, we had to take semi non -experienced people and teach them everything.

The young generation is lazy, naïve and think that they will have a money drop by magic and won't have to work another day in their life.
We're also having a lot of trouble with hiring. One of the issues we face is that we can't really afford more than $15 hr for full-time work at this point. So my thought is to wait it out in hopes that real estate and other inflated living costs come down to reality and balance out to where wages are. Pre-recession, automotive workers (Michigan) were earning $36 an hour with overtime. After the recession hit they bought out many of these workers after paying months of unemployment and now the new hires they're bringing in are starting $12-$18 hr, which is not capable of holding up to RE prices which have returned to pre-recession prices, and greater. So that's where I think the trouble spot is for our little service company.
On the other side of the coin, though, the producer side, my area rarely saw a Lamborghini or Ferrari which I'm starting to see now all over and three months ago I saw a Bugatti. So, definitely interesting times with how things are shaping and shifting.
 
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collin_e

collin_e

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Is there problem with the entire Economy? I’m making $20 an hour, which is high for a non factory job (300M+ company). With that pay me and my wife are doing fine now, but we don’t have any debt, we own everything. But we also don’t own a house.

I think that cost of living is a little daunting, we can’t find a house that in our budget unless it’s from the 80s. ($130k max) I can see where the idea of 100k salary’s with a degree seems appealing lol
 

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Had a similar experience this week.

I'm working at a dentist and a customer was talking to one of our dentists about his cleaning business and how he has no website, does no marketing and yet has full order books until early next year and can't take on any more jobs, because he can't find enough workers ... meanwhile the dentist (with website and marketing) has appointments for the next month at best.

There's 10 years of education and working (dentist) vs. ~30 years of experience (cleaning).
 
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