“It used to be if an appliance got damaged but was still workable, the customers would return it to get a new one. They don’t do that now because there’s no new ones to get,” Carr said. “So that’s added to the amount of repairs that need to be done and backing up repair people as well. Because if it’s working, people are going to have to keep it.”
Amid the general collapse of the service economy during the pandemic — think retail or restaurants — appliance repair technicians are seeing explosive demand for their services as families adjust to living at home 24/7, sometimes with adult children, elderly parents or in-laws expanding households and putting more wear and tear on refrigerators and dishwashers.
For people like Carr, who was at risk of reduced earnings or even losing his job, it is proving to be an elusive bright spot in an otherwise devastating labor market — and with long-term potential.
Gone are the days of the lonely Maytag repairman. The repairman of 2020 — with few exceptions, it’s still most often a man — has been working nonstop for the past seven months as the suddenly homebound find themselves cooking and laundering more than ever.
The strain of