Vocational skills - skilled trades are in demand as boomers retire


Skilled Trades in Demand (Infographic)

What happens when The Boomers Retire?

Two things are happening:

Baby Boomers are saying goodbye to their jobs in construction, manufacturing and engineering, and younger generations are looking for work outside of those industries.

So, who exactly is replacing the Boomers?

How are Baby Boomers employed?

Many Boomers have vocational careers and occupy lots of our country’s skilled trade jobs. Check out how the ratio of those who work "skilled trades" vs. "other jobs" is reversing (in favor of "other jobs") among younger workers.

Age Breakdown: Skilled Trades vs. All Jobst
The Oldest Skilled Trade Jobs

Which positions will be most affected?

Baby Boomers hold a sizable majority of the following positions. It’s time to figure out how we’re going to fill them.

The percentage of firms struggling to fill important skilled trade positions.
Which positions will be most affected?

What will happen if nothing is done?


32% of billion-dollar manufacturers estimate they’ll lose over $100 million as Boomers retire over the next five or so years. Ouch!


The percentage of firms that predict a shortfall of qualified skilled trade workers, according to an Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) survey.


The number of positions that will be left vacant by 2020 due to Baby Boomer retirement estimations.

What can be done to fill this gap?

Thankfully, countless companies recognize the issue and are taking action. Check out these great initiatives in Georgia, Massachusetts and Ohio:

Our Pledge

How about a promise to create 10,000 work-based learning opportunities (a.k.a. Apprenticeships) by 2020? That’s what we plan to do!

10,000 Apprenticeships by 2020


Our Youth Employment Solutions (YES!) Program in Kentucky partners with the state’s Department of Education and local businesses to help students develop trade skills. The best part? We’ve seen a 96% success rate.

Love the idea of apprenticeships, but nervous to start a program? We've heard your apprehensions, and are prepared to ease them.

Read Misconceptions About Apprenticeships


  1. Baby Boomer Generation Fast Facts – cnn.com
  2. Just How Many Baby Boomers Are There? – prob.org
  3. U.S. Births: 1940-1980 – profutures.com
  4. May 2013 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates United States – bls.gov
  5. America’s Skilled Trades Dilemma: Shortages Loom as Most-in-Demand Group of Workers Ages – forbes.com
  6. Skilled Worker Shortage Looms for U.S. Construction Firms – reuters.com
  7. Worker Shortage? Tech Teens Manufacturing Skills – businessweek.com
  8. Boomer Retirements Raise Skilled Labor Worry – advancetech.in
  9. Report: Economy Will Face Shortage of 5 Million Workers in 2020 – usnews.com
  10. The U.S. Skills Gap: Could it Threaten a Manufacturing Renaissance? – bcg.com
  11. 7 Industries in Need of Workers Now - careerbuilder.com
  12. Ohio Strong – ohiotreasurer.gov

Adecco Staffing, USA

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