Skilled Trade Jobs Are Booming in Pandemic Economy

PeopleReady Skilled Trades analysis finds strong growth in skilled trades over the past year and aims to connect people to in-demand work.

February 18, 2021

TACOMA, Wash.Feb. 18, 2021—While most job sectors have been hit hard by a pandemic-riddled economy and are seeing slow job growth or none at all, the skilled trades were booming across the nation during the past year. A recent analysis by the skilled trades division of PeopleReady found double- and even triple-digit growth in some skilled trades sectors. And the company is on a mission to connect people with these in-demand jobs. 

According to the PeopleReady Skilled Trades’ analysis, demand grew rapidly for many skilled trade jobs starting from the pandemic’s onset in March 2020 through January 2021, including drywall finishers (100%) and tile and stone setters (94%). Other skilled trade areas where job postings have soared during this same period include roofer helpers (24%), glaziers (19%), carpenters (16%), bricklayer helpers (16%), drywall installers (12%), and skilled construction workers (11%). Altogether, PeopleReady Skilled Trades found nearly 400,000 jobs posted in the sector since March 2020. 

“The skilled trades don’t just hold strong in an economic downturn—but they are among the rare sectors that continue to experience significant growth in an unpredictable job market,” said Jill Quinn, executive leader of PeopleReady Skilled Trades. “Our mission is to connect tradespeople and work. And, with such a high number of people looking for their next opportunity and so many skilled trades jobs available, this mission has never been more important.”

With construction season just around the corner, the company expects to see an even higher demand for tradespeople in the workforce. According to the analysis, skilled trades job postings have soared in the last 30 days. Those jobs seeing the most postings are: 

  • Drywall finishers (300% increase in last 30 days)
  • Tile and stone setters (79%)
  • Boilermakers (78%)
  • Cement masons and concrete finishers (70%)
  • Painters for construction and maintenance (69%)
  • Skilled construction workers (57%)
  • Steamfitters and pipefitter helpers (55%)

PeopleReady Skilled Trades works throughout the nation to connect customers and tradespeople across a variety of trades. To learn more, visit: skilled.peopleready.com.

About PeopleReady Skilled Trades

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, the division has connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether customers need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled trades workers across multiple projects, PeopleReady Skilled Trades ensures they have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time. Learn more at skilled.peopleready.com.

Media Contact

David Irwin
Communications Director
dirwin@trueblue.com
630-453-1120

As World of Work Changes, Staffing Leader PeopleReady Announces Brand Refresh with Simple Message: We Are Ready™

PeopleReady has announced a new brand promise, refreshed branding and redesigned websites to complement recently implemented enhancements to its tools to connect people and work faster and more easily than ever before.

February 17, 2021

New ‘Within Reach’ brand promise, ongoing elevation of staffing technologies and delivery models, and enhancements to JobStack® app signal readiness


TACOMA, Wash.—Feb. 17, 2021—For job seekers and companies alike, the past year saw unprecedented changes to business as usual. Staffing leader PeopleReady says many of these changes, such as the increased role of temporary jobs in the workforce, are here to stay—and it is ready to help navigate the change. Today the company announced a new brand promise, refreshed branding and redesigned websites to complement recently implemented enhancements to its tools to connect people and work faster and more easily than ever before.

PeopleReady knows that leading the staffing industry’s continued digital transformation will be crucial to fulfilling tomorrow’s workforce needs. In response, the company is introducing its new “Within Reach” brand promise that underscores its deep commitment to connecting people and work with solutions that meet candidates where they are and enable companies to connect with the quality workforce they need.

PeopleReady’s recently implemented state-of-the-art, centralized sourcing and recruitment engine, combined with a new virtual onboarding experience, puts Work Within Reach™ for more than 90,000 job seekers each month. Continued optimizations of PeopleReady’s award-winning JobStack® app, with enhancements such as a new Apply to Dispatch feature, make it easier than ever to connect people and work. This recently launched feature has reduced the time it takes for candidates to get hired and assigned to a position by 87%, enabling PeopleReady to more quickly connect customers with the workforces they need as part of PeopleReady’s Workforce Within Reach™ brand promise for its customers.

“At PeopleReady, we are deeply committed to the ongoing elevation of our staffing technologies and service delivery model to put work and a workforce within reach. That means helping to make something that can be difficult—whether that’s finding workers or finding work—easier and faster,” said Taryn Owen, president of PeopleReady. “Staffing firms are playing a heightened role in workforce strategies, and we know this will only grow in the future. Our new brand promise, revitalized branding and energized culture speak to our readiness to lead the transformation happening in our industry and to put quality work and a quality workforce within reach. When it comes to connecting people and work, in both today’s climate and tomorrow’s, we are ready.”

As the world of work continues to change, staffing firms will become even more integrated into traditional workforce models and staffing apps will play an increasingly important role.

According to recent PeopleReady research:

  • 85% of hiring managers have increased their usage of staffing apps to find workers.
  • Over half of companies reported that they’ve relied more on staffing firms during the pandemic.
  • 40% say the future of staffing will include more temporary workers in traditional workforce models.

For over 30 years, PeopleReady has been helping businesses run and helping people find work as it strives to be the most innovative, most accessible and most trusted staffing partner for companies and candidates. The company’s intuitive JobStack app empowers quick connections—providing businesses with immediate access to PeopleReady’s vast and expanding network of ready-to-dispatch temporary staff 24/7 and making connecting with work easy and convenient for job seekers. Whether you’re looking for your next job or need to find workers for your next project, PeopleReady is ready to help.

About PeopleReady

PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and its skilled trades division focuses on providing highly skilled tradespeople. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, energy, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put approximately 221,000 people to work in 2020. Learn more at www.peopleready.com or www.skilled.peopleready.com.

Media Contact

David Irwin
Communications Director
dirwin@trueblue.com
630-453-1120  

PeopleReady Gets to Work After Major Hurricanes

What are some the times that PeopleReady and our incredible associates have jumped at the opportunity to help during and after natural disasters? Let’s take a look…

August 21, 2019

When a natural disaster hits our communities, we all feel it. Whether near the impact or across the country, you’re bound to see the harm that a natural disaster leaves in its path. From hurricanes to wildfires, you might feel helpless, wondering how you can aid and assist. You’re not alone, but a silver lining is that during each of these times, we’re reminded of the amazing people we work with and how great it is when a company can come together for the greater good.

What are some of the times that PeopleReady and our incredible associates have jumped at the opportunity to help?

  • When Panama City felt devastation from Hurricane Michael, we saw buildings leveled and thousands of people losing their homes. Groups from surrounding branches—Fort Walton; Tallahassee; Dothan, Alabama; and Pensacola—gathered to make the trip to lend helping hands. The immediate and on-going relief came quickly after the rush of a storm and workers showed up in waves, ready to work together to rebuild.
  • Upon Hurricane Florence, it was crucial for our branch staff to stay connected with their fellow PeopleReady employees, associates, and customers in the potential impact zone and tracked their safety throughout the storm. Communication and rates were coordinated with our Disaster & Recovery customers preparing for the hurricane and we quickly moved to activate our teams across the country to help get people to work as quickly as possible. We quickly set up customers with our mobile app, JobStack, to share work opportunities and approve associate pay on the go while getting workers paid as quickly as possible with pay cards, rush shipped to the affected areas.
  • After Puerto Rico and Florida experienced the devastation following Hurricane Irma, our local team along with those in the New South and Mid-South regions moved quickly to reopen our branches and connect people with jobs to begin cleanup and recovery. Ensuring our associates safety was key – as was making sure they had access to work, even during these uncertain times.

As PeopleReady President, Sean Ebner shared about our associates and branch staff, “their safety and well-being and that of their loved ones is the top priority. Everything else is a distant second.” And we continue to stand by that as we prepare for the potential of more storms in the coming seasons. The only thing more powerful than a hurricane is the response to it—and we saw the country unite and “rise to the challenge of rebuilding.” During these times, our resilience was tested—but PeopleReady, from our recruiters to associates to leadership team unified to rise to the challenge and supported one another.

You might be thinking ahead of how you can help your neighbors around the country during these times. You could be planning for what you might do as a resident in one of these areas and what you can plan for. Whichever you relate to, PeopleReady is here to connect great associates with the work they want, the areas that need them, and with companies who will utilize their skills.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades Joins Generation T, a Movement to Rebuild the Skilled Trades Workforce

Over the next 10 years, one-third of skilled trades pros will retire at a faster rate than younger workers enter the field to replace them, leaving more than 3 million skilled trade jobs unfilled by 2028.

April 25, 2019
Man marking a piece of wood

Over the next 10 years, one-third of skilled trades pros will retire at a faster rate than younger workers enter the field to replace them, leaving more than 3 million skilled trade jobs unfilled by 2028. To help close that gap, PeopleReady Skilled Trades proudly joins Generation T, a national movement reigniting interest in blue-collar careers.

Established by Lowe’s Home Improvement and partner organizations like PeopleReady Skilled Trades, Gen T is changing the way society perceives skilled trades by:

  • Rallying a national audience to help promote or join the trades.
  • Connecting people to jobs, apprenticeships, training, and trade-related programs in community colleges.
  • Bringing shop classes back to target cities.

Our goal is to encourage more young people to choose a career in skilled trades by providing hands-on experience and training that exposes them to promising occupations for creative problem-solvers with valuable skills.

Generation T, Trade Skills circular logo


An entire sector of the economy can’t find enough qualified workers for the jobs waiting to be filled, projects waiting to be completed, and businesses waiting to be started. Nine out of 10 commercial construction contractors are having a difficult time finding skilled workers. And one in three professionals say they experience project delays because of the skilled trades shortage.

The shortage is already here.

Thousands of skilled pros retire every month. These are the trades masters who built our cities and communities: the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, HVAC technicians, pipefitters, and others who dedicated years to their craft. Progress cannot continue without future generations of expert craftsmen and craftswomen to build and maintain the infrastructure we need to grow and prosper.

For years—especially since the Great Recession—America has focused on college degrees and white-collar careers over blue-collar careers. High schools closed shop classes and opened coding labs. Today, only 5% of parents of high school students anticipate their child will pursue a career in the skilled trades. Much of this is driven by a misconception that a career in the trades is not rewarding or doesn’t have the earning potential of a college degree. That’s not true: the lifetime earning potential for a journeyman electrician is $3.9 million, compared with $3.3 million for a four-year humanities degree.

How did we get here?

As an entry point to the skilled trades, PeopleReady Skilled Trades sees the need for this movement every day in every market we serve across the country. PeopleReady Skilled Trades has been connecting people with skilled trades work for 30 years and we haven’t seen the demand this high in a decade. We are eager to bring what we do to the Gen T movement: a way to try the trades. Someone interested in learning a trade can find work with PeopleReady Skilled Trades that puts them on a job site where they can gain on-the-job experience. From there, our skill development program, WorkUp, offers free online training in the major trades – from basic electrical skills to welding. WorkUp is being piloted in two regions with plans to introduce it in more regions soon.

To help launch Gen T, PeopleReady Skilled Trades pros are helping students try their hands at different trades during events around the country. And we are providing pros to help build shop classes at high schools so future generations of students have exposure to the trades.

If you are interested in helping create the next generation skilled trades I invite you to join PeopleReady Skilled Trades and the growing list of organizations taking part in the movement by taking the Generation T Pledge.

PeopleReady Joins ABC at the Capitol

PeopleReady representatives joined ABC to encourage support for items critical to ABC members.

June 28, 2018

Representatives, legislators and key stakeholders gathered from June 24 through 28 in Washington D.C. for Legislative Week. An opportunity for members of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to connect with top administration and congressional leaders on issues that affect the construction industry, both on federal and state levels. The week’s focal point is Legislative Day.

ABC, a national construction industry trade association, represents more than 21,000 members. The organization aims to “develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.” Representing specialties within the nation’s construction industry, the association is joined by firms primarily in the industrial and commercial sectors. PeopleReady is a long term member and supporter of ABC and has over 30 staff members who participate on committees at the national and local chapter level.

Legislative Week culminates with a gathering of experts on legal and regulatory issues and potential forthcoming legal issues. During ABC’s Legal Conference industry attorneys will lend insights on employment and labor law, open competition, and address new developments.

PeopleReady Senior Vice President Shannon Kahn and National Sales Manager Allison Walters met with Arizona Representative Tom O’Halleran and other lawmakers to ensure PeopleReady’s alignment on objectives for the year. The PeopleReady representatives joined to encourage support for items critical to ABC members, educate Congress on issues affecting the construction industry, and serve as advocates for industry priorities.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.