WorkForce Central on behalf of the Pierce County Workforce Development Council commissioned a comprehensive study of skilled employment across Pierce County.
The purpose of the study is to guide strategies on how to address gaps and harness opportunities within this economic bracket, ultimately connecting more residents with meaningful work.
Key findings uncovered during the research include:
- A job candidate is significantly more likely to find work once he or she attains any level of specialization beyond high school. Employability and wages jump when a job seeker completes a training program, no matter the type.
- Skilled jobs face a retirement cliff. While demand for workers varies greatly among skilled job types, virtually every industry needs to plan ahead for a pipeline of skilled workers ready to hire when retirement vacancies occur, in addition to increased demand due to natural economic growth.
- Disparities between men and women have two potentially correlated consequences within skilled employment.
- The average starting wage for women in skilled jobs is 49 cents per hour less than men, amounting to a disparity of more than $1,000 each year or $30,000 over the course of a 30-year career.
- Women are significantly less likely than men to complete apprenticeships or long-term training programs, and instead are more likely to be employed in skilled jobs that require only short-term or no specialized training. However, when women received financial and childcare assistance, they completed long-term training programs at far higher numbers.