Demographics Favors The Trades

“Demographics is destiny,” goes an old saying. Demographics refers to the makeup of a population in terms of age, ethnicity, income, etc. The most significant of these is the average age of a population. Only a large influx of immigrants can change this factor. Otherwise, the age of a population enables you to deduce various factors about its future, i.e., its destiny. An aging population, for instance, will produce fewer offspring than one composed of young people of child-bearing age.

The United States has an aging population. By 2034, our country is projected to have more folks over 50 than under 18 for the first time ever. About half of all trade workers already are over 50 years old, and the physical demands of these jobs often lead to retirement in the 50s or slightly beyond. More and more skilled trade workers are needed to replenish their ranks. This is good news for anyone seeking a career in the skilled trades.

That’s on the supply side. An aging population also leads to greater demand for skilled trade work. Most retirees are reluctant to tackle physically grueling do-it-yourself projects around the house. Many retirees live in homes that are paid off and have sufficient disposable income to let younger professionals do the hard work.

Demand is also boosted by a growing trend toward so-called “aging in place” home installations and repairs. Touchless faucets, walk-in bathtubs and showers, motion-controlled lighting, activity monitors, electronic door chimes and other household devices, many of them high-tech, make it easier for seniors to maneuver around a house. Studies have shown that only around 1% of American homes are designed for comfortable aging in place. That leaves a lot of work yet to be done.

You hear a lot about jobs disappearing due to automation. The opposite is true for the trades. An aging population is increasing the need for greater automation, and the skilled trades are in the forefront of providing it