Majority blue-collar workers are riding into 2024 on a year's worth of stronger hiring as the blue-collar workforce saw a rise of 7.40% in hiring in 2023. With more abundant job opportunities than before and improved pay growth, Indeed's Blue Collar Hiring Tracker (BHT) report reveals that logistics, construction and real estate, tourism, and hospitality have emerged as the top sectors for top job opportunities.

Kolkata emerged as the leading metro city showing growth in hiring. On the heels are Pune and Chandigarh that have emerged as the top-tier 2 cities displaying substantial progress in employment opportunities.

"2023 showcased substantial hiring growth, especially in tier-2 cities. Looking to 2024, organisations embracing new tech emphasise the need for upskilling among job seekers for a brighter future," says Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales at Indeed India.

Riding on the back of the growth of SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), urbanisation, infrastructure development, expansion of the service sector, and a cost-effective labour market, job growth in these cities have become thriving.

The report further highlights that in 2023, blue-collar employers looked for GenZ talent, while white-collar sought millennial candidates. Data reveals that 49% of blue-collar employers leaned towards hiring GenZ candidates (aged below 26), while 41% of white-collar employers sought out millennial recruits (aged 27-41).

This study was conducted among 1,223 employers, 2,671 blue-collar jobseekers, and 2,637 white-collar jobseekers.

The propensity shown by blue-collar employers may be a response to the visible increase in automation and the consequential need for a workforce with adeptness for digital literacy. "At the same time, a younger workforce is also more adept at manually heavy tasks due to their higher physical endurance," says the report.

While hiring, digital literacy at 27% and physical strength at 83%, are ranked among the primary hard and soft skills that employers look for. On the other hand, the preference shown by White-collar firms' preference for millennial recruits implies a nuanced approach to tasks that may require expertise and a sophisticated skill set.

Moreover, 2023 presented a promising landscape for freshers as employers hired the most for entry-level positions. "This investment might indicate a proactive approach to securing and training future professionals and skilled workers within their respective industries," says the report.

The survey also reveals that employers are now better prepared to embrace next-generation technologies. While 42% of the employers indicated their interest in commencing integration with AI by taking small steps in 2024, 19% of the employers conveyed that they have already put them into effect. This transition towards technological adaptation signifies that a substantial proportion of employers are increasingly leveraging AI’s capabilities to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and innovate in their respective fields.

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