Blue-collar jobs are continuing to show relative strength in the current job market despite cooling off from the rapid hiring of the last several months. While the overall employment growth rate has dipped to its lowest rate in seven years, blue-collar jobs are still outperforming some other sectors of the job market.
According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, blue-collar jobs have continued to show relatively strong hiring into October, the latest month for which data was available. Although growth was lower than it was at the beginning of the year, blue-collar hiring was still up 8.3 percent compared to the same month in 2018.
At the same time, wages for those in blue-collar jobs have grown faster than average, even as the overall rate of wage growth has slowed. The average hourly pay for blue-collar jobs rose 3.4 percent over the year in October, compared to a 2.7 percent increase for all laborers.
Labor experts point to one of the main reasons for the continued strength of the blue-collar job market: growing demand for skilled labor. With the economic expansion continuing and employers in search of more specialized skills, blue-collar workers are increasingly in high demand.
That demand has allowed for relatively strong wage gains for blue-collar professionals in many industries, including construction, manufacturing and certain transportation fields. As the job market in other sectors slows, blue-collar workers are increasingly seen as a key component in the continued growth of the US economy.