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U.S. Manufacturers Seek Staffing Help as 500,000 Jobs Go Unfilled

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, January 22, 2020


The latest findings on U.S. manufacturing labor represented a mixed bag for the nation's industrial sector. According to the most recent jobs report, the U.S. shed 20,000 jobs in December, and overall the U.S. manufacturing sector added just 46,000 jobs in 2019, compared to a record 264,000 jobs the nation gained in 2018. 

This doesn’t mean, however, that U.S. manufacturers overall are not looking to hire.

In fact, a separate report issued by the Department of Labor finds there are nearly a half million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

This comes as no surprise given that a common complaint amongst manufacturers today is the scarcity of workers and even more difficulty finding workers with the right skills. Now, more than ever, U.S. manufacturers need workers.

This presents a unique opportunity for staffing professionals, workforce development agencies and HR providers to help bridge this gap.

According to the Department of Labor’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), there are roughly 477,000 open manufacturing positions in the U.S. (Oct. 2019), amounting to approximately 3.6% of the U.S. manufacturing workforce.

This level of unfilled positions has remained fairly steady throughout the past year and was highest in June of 2019 when unfilled manufacturing positions hit 515,000.

Within the manufacturing category, there are currently 181,000 unfilled positions in durable goods manufacturing, which includes industries like machinery, transportation equipment and electronics.

The remaining 132,000 jobs openings are in non-durable goods manufacturing such as food processing, paper products and plastics.

Helping Manufacturers Fill High-Tech Jobs

As the fourth industrial revolution takes hold, bringing advanced robotics, IIoT and artificial intelligence to the manufacturing space, staffing needs for manufacturers continues to evolve.

Finding workers with the skills needed for today’s advanced manufacturing continues to be a growing challenge for industrial companies.

A recent study by Deloitte on the skills gap issue titled “Future of manufacturing: The jobs are here, but where are the people?” found that the U.S. is currently facing a labor shortage in manufacturing amounting to 2.4 million unfilled positions between 2018 and 2028.

The Deloitte study finds that the manufacturing jobs of the future will require skills like robotics management, predictive supply network analysis and engineering, just to name a few.

Opportunities for Staffing Agencies

So what are manufacturers doing to fill their open positions?

Some larger companies, like Caterpillar and Raytheon have come up various incentives to encourage potential workers to relocate. Other manufacturers look to community colleges and state worker training programs to help fill open positions.

Events like Manufacturing Day, a now-monthlong event held each October in which manufactures host public events to highlight career opportunities in manufacturing, have helped inspire a new generation of industrial workers.

Yet, for manufacturers that need to fill positions right away, building a relationship with the right staffing agency or worker training firm can have a beneficial and immediate impact on recruitment.

How to Reach Manufacturers That Need Employment Services

The manufacturing labor shortfall is a golden opportunity for professionals in staffing, HR services and worker training programs. But with hundreds of thousands of manufacturers out there, how do you identify the right companies and get to the right person?

If you’re looking to help manufacturers with their staffing and workforce needs, an IndustrySelect subscription can help you find new customers in the industrial world.

Powered by MNI’s hand-verified industrial data, an IndustrySelect subscription gives you access to 500,000 industrial businesses and one million executives.

IndustrySelect allows you to build a powerful list of prospects by drilling down to only the data you need using 30 different criteria. Sort by industry, geography, and company size and more.

An executive function search helps you find the contacts you need, such as professionals in Human Resources, Health & Safety, Research & Development and more.

To get a hand-on look at how an IndustrySelect subscription can help you reach new customers, visit our website and try out a free demo.



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