Everybody loves to prognosticate so this is my version.
Wages are going to skyrocket for most blue collar service sector jobs.
Here are the forces -
#A Jobs involving movements in three dimensions are hard to automate. Picking soft fruits is still done by humans and robots in 2019 still cannot open door handles.
#B At the bottom of the market - the so called scut work was performed by bucket bob, illegals and naive young people. Those labour sources have been drying up for different reasons. I will be doubling prices for construction clean.
#C Machines which assist workers instead of replacing them have become more powerful. People still build and clean by hand at location and attempts to position this labour in factories seem to have failed. We use pneumatic nail guns and water fed poles but this assists instead of replaces. Most of us own the equipment we use so earnings are not just equal to labour.
#D Millennials - disclosure - I am one and this isn’t to read as flame bait - are disenchanted with blue collar work because of how society today views education and status. I think it is fair to claim this makes them less motivated workers - they are not ‘woke’ to physical labour - blue collar skills are now less common.
#E Blue collar jobs have become more technical. 10 or 20 years ago glass was actually glass and now we have windows at $$$ thousands which are easy to damage. windows have become more diverse in shapes, sizes so skill requirement is climbing.
#F Customers have more information and higher standards.
#G This is hard to measure but I think all workers are more distracted and this causes task switching and job switching which is not productive but causes pressure on wages for the most focused workers.
Reversing position -
#A downward pressure on wages comes from our culture. White collar professionals don’t like seeing blue collar workers earning more than them.
This norm is not too powerful because once white collar people had servants for cleaning and cooking until the factories offered higher wages. We were then replaced with washing machines and cooking appliances but only because our wages were too high for employers.
Being diplomatic - customers don’t have to realize we’re being paid more than them - the prices don’t appear to multiply when you are economizing on time with tools and training. Same job 30% faster is less provocative than asking for that 1/3 pay raise.
#B Training and retaining is hard.
#C More equipment costs.
#D Hard to measure but I believe people are finding it harder to have business relationships, employers and employees who are loyal to each other.
#E More paperwork hoop jumping.
#F Some fraction of customers can no longer afford our services. I wouldn’t want to be a general contractor.
#G If you’re getting started it is slowly becoming harder to compete against wfp.