It would be interesting to compare openings for welders against openings for, say, product design. Which is growing more? I know which one is more of a 'trade.'
If the welding is growing faster, that could be evidence the economy is climbing back down the abstraction ladder, which (I think) would be a bad thing. Welders may make the world, but they don't run it. Product designers direct a lot of what your world looks like. And product designers need some insight into how human beings work and what they need. An understanding of the deep narratives of the culture will help you make things for it.
Maybe that doesn't entail a whole degree, but it certainly entails some degree of liberalism in education, and more than most high schools give you.
tl;dr: trade school vs. liberal education is not a binary, it's a scale. Maybe things need to move closer to the trade end, but not necessarily all the way.