Sometimes field service is like Rodney Dangerfield — it gets no respect. But if the latest job numbers show anything, it’s that field service not only deserves a lot more respect, but also a lot more attention from tech innovators.

By most accounts, the Department of Labor’s jobs numbers for March were bleak. Just 88,000 jobs were added last month, well below expectations. And although the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent, that decline was attributed to a shrinking pool of job seekers.

One bright spot: everything related to field service.

An Industry Ripe for Innovation

Roughly 4.9 million Americans fall under the job category “installation, maintenance, and repair” — and that’s 221,000 more than a year ago. At the same time, there are 83,000 fewer unemployed field service workers compared to last year. Field service unemployment sits at 4.8 percent, a full two percentage points below the year-ago rate and the lowest rate of any job category except for business management and professional occupations.

There are several explanations for the rising demand for field-service workers, including the hiring rebound in manufacturing, which is closely tied to field service, and the creation of new types of field service jobs thanks to advances in technology.

It doesn’t take an expert to see why the white-hot field service sector is now a magnet for innovation. So how do you think technology can and will help the nearly five million Americans working in field service? Drop your comments below.

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