DENVER, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, HomeAdvisor, a leading digital marketplace evolving the way homeowners connect with service professionals to complete home projects, released Skilled Trades in America, a report that examines America's home service professionals and identifies the ways in which the industry can strengthen, grow, and diversify its labor force. Pros agree that there is a massive job opportunity in this field and that bringing more people into it begins with better recruitment of women and BIPOC.
The report found that the industry is filled with entrepreneurs and small business owners who are often happy, successful and generally optimistic about their personal businesses and the value they provide. Skilled trades in home services is overwhelmingly composed of small businesses: in some home professions the number of sole proprietorships can be greater than 60% of the total. 82% of survey respondents said they are satisfied in their professional choice. Additionally, with relatively low barriers to entry, both in business formation and in education, the average age of a company owner with employees in the skilled trades is 43, nearly 30% younger than the average CEO age of 59.
Despite being satisfied with their work and the opportunity to grow a business from a young age, 71% of pros think there is still a shortage of skilled tradespeople, with 4% thinking it has gotten better over the last 5 years and 73% thinking it has worsened in the same time period. Pros working in electrical, plumbing and HVAC are more concerned about the shortage of skilled labor than are people in cleaning, pest control and drywall.
"The skilled trades present a major opportunity for employment and job growth for all individuals, especially at a time when our country is experiencing high unemployment rates and there is an overwhelming need for more skilled pros," said Mischa Fisher, Chief Economist at HomeAdvisor.
Pros agree that the labor shortage can be addressed with better recruitment, especially given the pronounced absence of women and people of color in the trades. One in ten workers in the electrical, decks and flooring trades are women. In the remodeling, painting and pest control spaces women account for 20-30% of workers. Cleaning has the majority share of women tradespeople at roughly 65% of the workforce. Examining the share of a range of occupational skills against demographic representation relative to the country, Black and Indigenous people are substantially underrepresented relative to their share of the population. For example, among carpenters the Black share is 60% smaller than demographics would suggest.
To improve recruitment efforts, 75% of pros say that vocational programs in high schools would have a moderate to major effect on getting more people into the skilled trades. 60% believe expanded funding for scholarships and trade schools would make a difference in improving the shortage. 31.9% also said that improving the perception of blue-collar work would have a major effect in getting more people in the trades.
Fisher continues, "By diversifying the training pipeline, adopting new recruitment tools and strategies and reframing how the industry presents itself to the world, home services entrepreneurs and SMBs can reach a broader base of customers and build more inclusive, equitable—and successful—businesses."
To read the full Skilled Trades in America report, click here.
This report was informed by survey data gathered from 3,766 skilled trades professionals between December 3rd 2019 and February 2nd 2020. You can find resources for people looking to join the skilled trade community at this link: https://www.homeadvisor.com/research/how-to-enter-the-skilled-trades/
HomeAdvisor® is a digital marketplace evolving the way homeowners connect with service professionals to complete home projects. With HomeAdvisor's on-demand platform, homeowners can find and vet local, prescreened home service professionals; view average home project costs using True Cost Guide; and instantly book appointments online or through HomeAdvisor's award-winning mobile app, which is compatible with all iOS, Android and virtual assistants, including Amazon Echo. HomeAdvisor is based in Golden, Colo., and is an operating business of ANGI Homeservices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI).