In a Wall Street Journal report published on Sunday, February 21, the blue-collar job market is getting stronger. America's blue-collar workers have suffered a lot as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's also worth noting that the GOP has managed to pull in a lot more blue-collar workers over the past 10 years, and it now captures a majority of their votes. In the 2020 presidential election, 57% of blue-collar workers voted for Republican candidates for president and vice president, senator, representative and other political jobs. One area in which blue-collar jobs are growing the most is in home construction.
About Blue-collar Jobs and How They Affect Housing
These jobs don't require a lot of years of education. Trade or vocational school and on-the-job apprenticeship are all most construction workers need in order to get started. In Orlando, FL, one area home builder is looking for four construction workers for a six-person team. There is a soaring demand for housing, and the pandemic has not dampened the demand. In Atlanta, forklift drivers and other construction workers are raking in the overtime because the supply warehouses they work in are busy distributing supplies. Overall, blue-collar jobs are increasing by 7% across the United States. Their biggest area of growth is in home construction.
Employment Numbers in Housing Construction Jobs
The number of people employed in house construction now exceeds the pre-pandemic level. Even though the regular job market is still down by 5% since February 2020, housing jobs are up by more than 7%. It's all because of the high demand for housing and remodeling work. People are spending more time at home, and many people are working from home. Most labor specialists think that employers will continue to allow employees to make the choice to work at least hybrid schedules even after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
Why the Demand for Housing Is High
There are several factors causing the high demand for housing and the subsequent increase in blue-collar jobs related to the housing market. The American population is growing, and that's one reason for the need for new housing units. Families are smaller, and each family wants its own separate place to live. The Millennial generation is now at the age when people often want to buy a home. Low interest rates on mortgages are another factor. Wages have stabilized since the pandemic began, and people have been saving more money. Those who didn't lose their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns are in a good position to put down a 20% payment or even pay cash for a home. Fewer people have been selling their homes. In the past, a common reason for middle-age people or senior citizens to sell their homes was downsizing. Now, people are at home more and want the space. When people work from home and children attend remote or hybrid school, they want a separate space to do their work or learning.
What Experts Think the Housing Market Will Do in 2021
Nearly all economists and housing experts expect that the demand for housing will maintain its rapid rate of growth throughout 2021. Interest rates are likely to remain low. The prospect of more stimulus funds will mean people may have more money to set aside for a down payment or for a remodeling project. People who can live a greater distance away from their employer will be looking for homes in suburban and rural areas. These homes tend to be bigger and have larger yards.
Trends in the 2021 Housing Market
Home builders are building bigger homes again. The trend had been slightly smaller square footage for a while, but new homes are averaging more than 2,500 square feet. Considering the average household size is about 2.9, this gives each person a lot of space. People also want homes with separate offices. They expect houses to be set up for Wi-Fi and streaming services that will be effortless for them to connect to their electronics. People also want bigger common areas. Kitchens are typically an area of focus when it comes to amenities and features in a home. Some of the most in-demand features for new homes and home additions include walk-in pantries with built-in shelving systems, customized cabinets with self-closing drawers, smart appliances, islands with built-in storage and multiple dining areas, such as a breakfast nook and a formal dining room. Enclosed patio rooms or porches are also growing in popularity.
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