While exploring the job market or looking for new employees, you have probably encountered such terms as skilled and unskilled labor jobs. 

Here we would like to focus on unskilled labor and provide you with all the necessary information to understand it properly. If you want to know who unskilled laborers are, keep on reading!

What Is Unskilled Labor?

Unskilled labor is a term referring to those workers who typically do not have specialized training or professional experience. It is this kind of workforce that has just a very limited set of skills. 

Unskilled labor does not hold any higher education degrees, but only a GED, a high school diploma, or even none of those. However, it happens that in an economic crisis, workers with higher education degrees (skilled labor) may do unskilled jobs as well.

For most sectors of the economy, unskilled labor is crucial. Sometimes they are necessary all the time, and sometimes there is a higher demand for them seasonally. 

For instance, when the harvest time comes, farms require a lot of unskilled laborers who can start their work quickly without too much training. In fact, if there were no unskilled workers during the fruit-picking season, numerous farming businesses could collapse.

The Past of Unskilled Labor

When the American Revolution finished (1775-1783), both the economies in the North and South began to evolve and develop. The industry and agriculture in the South became more diverse, and in the North, manufacturing, and industry started to grow. 

As a result, more and more unskilled employees were necessary. In new, more difficult work environments, they started to form vivid communities and followed an ideology based on independence.

In the North, due to many economic factors, many men and women had no other choice than to get an unskilled labor job. 

It is because the scarcity of land in some areas there forced rural Americans to search for employment in cities where they could get a position with a better salary. As a result of many young men looking for more prominent economic opportunities, there was a labor shortage in certain areas.

To fill the void, some job duties started to be performed by women and children, especially in textile mills. Also, after the American Revolution, many merchants decided to invest their money in the manufacturing business.

Production got centralized and attempted to improve the job process to become more effective. 

It demanded employing a huge number of unskilled laborers, including not only women and children but also hopeful young farmers, European immigrants, and both free and enslaved African Americans.

In the South, a vast percentage of the unskilled labor included slaves, and their conditions depended on a particular region. 

Following the American Revolution, mixed farming (especially concerning wheat) became the leading economic enterprise in the Upper South instead of tobacco cultivation. As wheat cultivation needed fewer year-round workers, unskilled labor became more mobile.

Also, some slaveholders gave male African Americans jobs that required a higher skill level, and they had the opportunity to become skilled labor. 

Then, more women started working in the fields and iron factories, taking care of unskilled job duties.

Furthermore, the agricultural revolution created more job opportunities for slaves. They were not working in a monoculture but with a wide range of freighted goods and crops and tending to livestock. 

Apart from that, the Upper South African Americans were able to get a salary for working overtime in the ironworks.

The Present of Unskilled Labor

Nowadays, fortunately, nobody associates unskilled labor with slavery. Employers have to provide everyone with a regular salary, even if it is the minimum wage. 

However, as less self-development is required for unskilled jobs, such a salary is typically lower than the ones skilled labor receives.

In the case of most unskilled jobs, a worker can usually acquire all the necessary skills to be productive in their position in less than a month. 

It is because in such job duties, higher education and well-developed technical skills are not necessary - they are manual or physical types of work in general. 

In most cases, professional experience is also not required as everything can be learned just with simple training and a few days of practice.

Examples of Unskilled Jobs in 2020

The huge variety of industries that rely on unskilled labor to a large extent include agriculture, hospitality services, manufacturing, construction, and food. Some of the examples of such employees are as the following:

Stocking Associate

The main job of a stocking associate is to receive store shipments, stock the products in a store stockroom or warehouse, and take care of any defective merchandise that needs to be returned.

What is more, this type of unskilled job often also involves unloading and loading shipments. Typically, this position may require some basic qualifications, such as GED or a high school diploma, depending on a particular company.

National average salary: $12.71 per hour

Hotel Housekeeper

The daily job responsibilities of a hotel housekeeper include keeping the hotel lobbies, common areas, and individual guest rooms as clean as possible. 

They often replenish linens, take care of rugs and upholstered furniture, vacuum floors, and use carpet shampooers. Formal education is not a must for this unskilled job, but sometimes employers may expect at least a high school diploma.

National average salary: $11.47 per hour

Janitorial Worker

Janitorial jobs involve taking care of general facility repairs and keeping a building clean. Examples of places where such unskilled employees are essential include hospitals, schools, and office buildings. 

To become a janitor, candidates are not required to have a high school diploma, but those that have it may appear more attractive to an employer.

National average salary: $11.58 per hour

Food Preparation Worker

Thanks to food preparation employees, all the work related to keeping the cooking and serving areas can be taken care of, so they are very helpful to cooks, chefs, and food service managers.

What is more, they are often responsible for peeling vegetables and fruit, preparing cold foods, slicing meat, and brewing hot drinks. In general, such unskilled jobs do not require any formal education and take less than a month to gain the minimum skill level.

National average salary: $11.40 per hour

Agricultural Worker

An unskilled career in agriculture includes such tasks as inspecting and harvesting crops with the use of special farm machines and tools or just with manual work. 

Moreover, such workers are also responsible for irrigating soil, applying pesticide solutions to protect crops, and spraying fertilizer to improve plant growth.

Apart from that, their duties may sometimes include daily herding and feeding the livestock. This unskilled job requires no professional experience or formal education. 

A candidate just has to take a short training provided by the employer, which is focused on security and skills necessary to work with certain tools and machinery.

National average salary: $12.65 per hour

Why Employers May Struggle with Unskilled Labor Shortage?

Today, many companies struggle with unskilled labor shortages. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Lack of Appreciation. It happens that unskilled labor workers feel not appreciated enough, as, despite their hard work, their contribution is not valued enough. If a business does not see their commitment and does not provide positive feedback, they may feel underestimated and quit their jobs.


  • Low Salary. If unskilled workers receive only a minimum wage, they may soon become dissatisfied and think about looking for better job opportunities. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, workers are making more on unemployment and do not want to work for such a low wage anymore.


  • Little or No Opportunities for Growth. It often happens that employees, including the unskilled labor, expect the employer to provide a plan for them to build their aptitudes, refine the current ones, gain new skills, etc., that will lead them to promotion. Without a clear career path, they may feel that there are no opportunities for them and start searching for jobs that include more development.


How to Deal with an Unskilled Labor Shortage?

An unskilled labor shortage may turn out to be very problematic for a company. Depending on its structure, such workers can be crucial in meeting all the deadlines and shipping the orders or delivering the service on time. 

Looking for a new workforce may be very exhausting and time-consuming, and your company cannot lose the trust of its business partners due to not being able to perform all the work as it was previously scheduled.

However, you no longer have to worry about that - MADI has prepared a helpful solution you can use anytime when there are too many vacancies for unskilled jobs. 

Our staffing company will quickly find the exact type of workers you need to hire temporarily. You may decide if you require no specific experience or if you prefer to give your tasks to candidates with a particular skill level, education, or finished training.

We can access a wide talent pool, which typically allows us to find suitable workers in less time than most of our competitors. You do not have to check if we can reach you in a particular job location - our staffing service is available all across the United States. 

You just need to specify what duties have to be taken care of, your expectations toward the unskilled labor, how many workers you need, and all the other essential information.

There are no tasks that we consider too small or too big - our unskilled labor staffing service can be flexible, depending on your individual needs! 

We have been cooperating with clients who required only 5 laborers, and we also dealt with those in need of 500 workers or more, and we were always able to adapt our work to their unskilled labor shortage level and meet all their requirements.

Our service can be performed in various industries, which include the following examples:

  • Energy
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Healthcare
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Manufacturing
  • Chemicals
  • Logistics and Warehouses



Unskilled labor has played a significant role in the American economy for many years already. It strongly developed after the American Revolution, and today, people who are able to work with no specific technical skills level are still highly necessary in various industries related to manufacturing, food, logistics, and more. 

As such jobs do not require higher education and professional experience, they can be performed by almost anyone willing to learn some new skills.

After hiring someone for unskilled work, you just need to provide basic training, essential for security and productivity, and make a person ready to do all the necessary tasks in less than a month.


Thanks to our offer, you will find the necessary unskilled labor for almost all types of jobs in a way that does not require any effort on your side. 

Contact us today and fill the quote form with all the essential information, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

With MADI, an unskilled labor shortage will never be a problem, and your business will be able to always work normally, even in such a crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic!

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