Job creation in the modern manufacturing industry is surging, but employers are struggling to find enough workers with the right set of skills. This workforce crisis has caused nearly half a million open manufacturing jobs to remain unfilled, and the Manufacturing Institute’s 2018 Skills Gap Study found that number is expected to swell to 2.4 million within the next decade.
THE US ECONOMY is humming along in a
period of remarkable expansion, marked by
notable contributions from the manufacturing
industry. The sector has been consistently contributing to over 10 percent of the national gross
domestic product (GDP) and represented more than
8 percent of all US employed population in 2017.
The contributions of the manufacturing sector seem
to become more apparent when we consider its
multiplier effect on the economy and jobs. Every
dollar in output from the manufacturing industry
generates another US$1.89 of additional value and
every direct job creates 2.5 additional jobs in the
It’s no surprise then that most manufacturers express strong optimism for the economy
and jobs generation in the months to come.
However, while most manufacturers may expect
jobs to grow, they must contend with one of the
tightest labor markets in recent history, including
a situation where the number of open jobs exceeds
the number of people looking for work.
For manufacturers, filling open jobs has been an ongoing
challenge in recent years, but the current conditions
are reaching serious levels.