In recent years, a skills gap seems to have developed in the US's manufacturing industry. It is estimated that over the next ten years or so, almost 3.5 million jobs will be required to be filled in the sector, yet already manufacturing companies are finding it hard to secure the right people.
On the other side of the fence, it has never been a better time to be someone who is looking for a manufacturing job. Such 'hands-on' jobs do not always appeal to millennials, who – apparently – prefer to spend all their time seated in front of some type of screen or another. Not only does this mean that a skilled manufacturing employee will have the luxury of being able to choose from a number of potential positions with different companies all with decent levels of remuneration, but in addition manufacturing is becoming an increasingly attractive option for salaried employment.
Why has a skills gap developed in the US's manufacturing sector?
If a career in manufacturing is looking increasingly worthwhile, why has a skills gap developed? Economic experts point to the trend between 1990-2010 of relocation by manufacturing companies. The attractiveness of moving factories and manufacturing plants to more cost-effective destinations (including offshore) cost the United States millions of manufacturing jobs. As a result, people entering the job market for the first time could not include manufacturing on their list of available career opportunities. This has led to a lack of talent in the employment pool of people with manufacturing skills.
The attractiveness of relocation overseas has diminished considerably since 2010. Relocation helped boost foreign economies – particular in Asia – leading to cost increases. The 'cheap labor' of the 1990s is no longer available, and foreign energy prices have spiraled leading to increases in the cost of logistics. Employee-wise, foreign workers have recognized their worth and are demanding higher levels of remuneration.
The United States is Again the Most Attractive Base for Manufacturing Companies
This means that US-based companies are coming back home, plus the US manufacturing industry has been experiencing a boom period since 2009. The US is once again becoming the most attractive place for manufacturing companies, yet they are encountering a skills shortage that they themselves have helped to create. People born in the 1960s are reaching retirement age and they are not being replaced by the young, for whom a career in manufacturing does not seem an attractive one.
The US economy could suffer if these jobs are not filled. For every one manufacturing job, another two and a half jobs are created in other industries as a result. Manufacturing investment creates 133% of the same investment value for other sectors too.
The good news here is that as of yesterday (July 29th, 2019), U.S. Manufacturers pledged to train 1.2 million workers Source: FoxBusiness.com
f you are a manufacturer in Northeast Ohio struggling to fill a key role with the right person, or if you are a skilled and experienced manufacturing employee looking for a new challenge and the perfect job, then our team here at RC Staff can help. We specialize in manufacturing recruitment and do all we can to find the right person for the right role. Contact us now at (330) 983 4400 or use our online contact form for more information. If you are an employer, here's how we help Akron-area manufacturers find better workers.