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Unskilled Labor: A Light in an Otherwise Gloomy Outlook

Unskilled Labor: A Light in an Otherwise Gloomy Outlook - Driver

Will the recovery be led by unskilled labor?

If there is a bright spot in the current economic doldrums it’s the fact that unskilled workers are probably in a good position to find work, much more so than their skilled counterparts.

They key reason for this is the need employers have to make their systems more efficient in order to maximize their projects due to the lean times. As a result, although the need for skilled labor to do specific jobs has increased, so has the need for unskilled workers.

The reason for this is easy to understand. In good times, when businesses are being built or are thriving, skilled workers lead the pack in their know-how. On the other hand, in leaner times such as the one we find ourselves in now, many of the skilled workers in a business are cut since the systems needed for the business to operate are already in place, and since monitoring these systems might only take unskilled workers, their prospects grow. There are even examples of serious shortages of unskilled workers such as the recent call of Premier of Western Australia for more foreign workers in state’s mining industry.

This phenomenon occurs in many industries. These include:


Those companies that have factories for the production of products often have automation that is operated by unskilled labor. Especially in lean times, these companies will cut skilled positions to save revenue, but hire more unskilled workers in order to keep production flowing.


Automation has also worked to the benefit of warehousing industries. More warehouses are operated by computers and other automated systems that are run by unskilled workers. As in the case of factories, skilled workers often find themselves out of work when lean times happen, with unskilled workers benefiting from the systems that were created in better times.

Training Programs

Those industries that emphasize having workers complete their in-house training programs are more willing to hire unskilled workers than those that do not and want more skilled workers to apply. Those with training programs want to “start fresh” with employees who bring a clean slate to their workplace.


Cutting of funding for all medical services will probably cause healthcare providers to transition many jobs to unskilled workers. This is bad for lesser skilled workers, but a boom to workers who do not have any applicable skills. Most experts agree that unskilled workers will probably benefit


There are certain jobs that require little if any skills to perform. These include lower-level security, custodial, and others. This is good news for not only employers who want to hire these workers directly, but also for independent services who will hire unskilled workers for these positions to hire out to client companies.


Lean times are more often than not a boom for the staffing industry, which hire unskilled workers to fill the vacuum left by layoffs by companies looking to cut costs. By hiring from staffing firms, companies can avoid paying the price of benefits and other costs related to having skilled workers on their staff.

As much emphasis as is placed on the benefits of education and skills, there are times when being an unskilled laborer has its benefits. As frustrating as the economic situation has been for everyone, there are those who have benefited. These include unskilled laborers. Fortunately, as the cloud of uncertainty continues to hover over the job market, unskilled laborers will probably continue to enjoy the benefits. And although this might not include significantly higher wages, it will probably continue to provide jobs for a significant number of those who want them and are willing to work for them. This is also a light in the otherwise dreary outlook that might shine for some time to come.

About the Author

Victor is a always up to date when it comes to business and markets. He is a passionate blogger and business consultant, currently writing about Australian jobs market. Visit this site for more information on jobs in Australia.

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Author:Victor Daily

The Globial International Business Team researches, analyzes, and reports on all things related to global trade and business.


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2 Responses to “Unskilled Labor: A Light in an Otherwise Gloomy Outlook”

  1. July 10, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Workers compensation programs constitute another benefit to employees by providing compensation for employees who have been injured on the job, regardless of how they were hurt. Injured employees can be reimbursed for their medical expenses and for pain and suffering which result from the injury.

  2. May 3, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    Well have you heard of that new phrase ‘Jack of all trades is better than the master of one’ :D
    I think it speaks everything about the current prevalent phenomenon. The fight of skilled verses unskilled work is shifting from smart work and hard work. You have to be a smart worker in order to prosper. That is all that is required. Thanks for sharing wisdom :)

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