Blue collar jobs typically require less education but our economy has changed and blue collar workers must adapt.
A blue-collar worker has been defined as a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance and transportation.
Here are some stats that have blue-collar workers singing the blues:
- In 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. In July of 2011, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job
- The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks.
- There are considerably fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000.
- If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6,000.
- In 2011, about 5 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs compared to 20 percent back in 2000. Nationwide, more than 4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost from 1998 to 2000.
The less educated, the higher the unemployment rate reaches. If a person has a college degree the unemployment rate is just over 4 percent but for high school dropouts the rate is over 14 percent.
“In 1967, among men with a high-school degree between the ages of 30 and 50, 97 percent had jobs. Today, it’s 76 percent.” – Don Peck, author of Pinched .
Gone are the days when a high school degree was sufficient.
“There are more job requirements than there used to be and a number of employers will only hire people with degrees in special programs. They expect them to come in at a much higher level than they used to. Gone are the days when a high school degree was sufficient.” Patricia McKeown, president of Bellingham Technical College (BTC).
The following Reuters 2010 chart shows the level of unemployment broken down by the level of education.