Blue-collar hiring and pay gains stay hot in a cooling job market

Blue-collar hiring and pay gains remain strong in a cooling job market, largely driven by the still-hot housing market and ongoing demand for transportation workers, according to the latest jobs report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job gains in construction, transportation, and warehousing hit a record at the end of June and wages have seen steady growth. Construction and transportation jobs have been in high demand as the need for housing construction, warehousing services, and infrastructure work remains high.

Average hourly earnings for all employees have grown 3.2 percent over the past year and for transportation and warehousing workers, earnings have risen by 4.7 percent, according to the report.

This increased demand for blue-collar jobs is a sign that the labor market remains tight and employers are still willing to offer enticing wages to draw in workers. Additionally, these strong hiring numbers and wage gains have helped to partially offset losses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure industries, which have faced headwinds due to the ongoing pandemic.

Though there are signs that the overall job market has softened in recent months, blue-collar hiring and pay gains remain strong. This is a sign that these jobs are not likely to be among the first to be impacted by any future economic cooling.