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Understanding labor shortage trends in the field service industry

March 14, 2024


The field service industry faces a range of employment trends, including a persistent labor shortage and an increase in retired workers. In this blog, we’ll analyze these trends and explore how on-demand labor can help you overcome workforce challenges and embrace change to thrive in the field service industry.

The shifting employment landscape

It’s critical for field service leaders to understand the changing landscape as skilled technicians lean into new ways to work. Here are several employment trends to watch.  

The gig economy and independent contractors

Recent research shows Americans increasingly choose independent forms of employment instead of traditional full-time work. In fact, the MBO Partners State of Independence report confirms that 72.1 million Americans are independent workers, about 45% of the workforce. The field service industry is not immune to this shift, with a recent study of field service technicians showing that 98% of respondents prefer independent contracting in some capacity

The dichotomy of employment choices

Today’s labor market presents more options than the binary choice of full-time employment or contracting. Many professionals blend these models, working both as employees and independent contractors for various reasons, including earning extra income and having greater control over work schedules. This hybrid approach complicates the traditional view of employment, making it challenging to gauge the actual extent of the skilled labor shortage.

Retirement wave

A significant portion of the field service sector’s workforce is nearing retirement. According to the Service Council’s survey, about 50% of IT technicians are 45 years or older, a trend mirrored across various trades. This “Silver Tsunami” implies that many skilled, experienced workers are transitioning out of full-time employment. However, many are transitioning to contract work.

Low unemployment, yet high demand

Despite a low unemployment rate in the tech sector (about 2%), there’s a growing demand for skilled labor, partly due to the rapid deployment of technology across industries. This demand, coupled with the aging workforce, hints at a potential mismatch between available jobs and suitable candidates.

Using on-demand labor to overcome challenges and embrace trends

Despite these impactful shifts in the labor market, field service companies can rest assured there are solutions to potential challenges. Here are a few ways to help your company thrive in the evolving labor market.

On-demand skilled labor availability

While there’s a narrative of a labor shortage, the reality might be more about connecting skilled workers to work opportunities. Thousands of independent contractors  use Field Nation to find and complete work. Companies can access these independent workers by leveraging the #1 labor marketplace to find and vet skilled techs to complete assignments.

Technological advancements and requirements

Technology trends drive demand for skilled technicians who can perform installation, maintenance, and updates to existing systems. Meeting this demand may seem challenging, but with Field Nation, field service companies have access to local, on-demand independent contractors  to fulfill their project needs. With Field Nation, field service leaders can confidently select independent contractors based on the skills, experience, and qualifications listed on technicians’ profiles.

Embrace labor trends with Field Nation

The field service industry faces complex challenges, including shifts in work preferences, demographic changes, and evolving skill requirements due to technological advancements.

Address these challenges head-on with Field Nation! Leverage the power of the #1 labor marketplace and start building your on-demand workforce today.


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