It is hard to believe that we are already close to summer. This year seems to be moving much faster than 2020, and one area in particular that is advancing at warp speed in the same fashion is manufacturing. Those around manufacturing every day may hear the same things: “We can’t find enough people to fill all the available spots,” and “is a dirty dingy and manual career.” What is needed to get more people involved?
These two main topics are a common theme these days. With a quick look at the National Association of Manufacturers, you can quickly see that manufacturing continues to have a huge impact on local and international economies.
According to the study, the hard data: About 1.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost during the early days of the pandemic, setting back the manufacturing labor force by more than a decade. However, the industry has largely recovered those lost jobs and is now urgently seeking more workers.
While the manufacturing industry recouped 63% of jobs lost during the pandemic, the remaining 570,000 had not been added back by the end of 2020, despite a near-record number of job openings in the sector.
The inside scoop: Manufacturers surveyed reported that finding the right talent is now 36% harder than it was in 2018, even though the unemployment rate has nearly doubled the supply of available workers.
Executives reported they could not even fill higher-paying, entry-level production positions, let alone find and retain skilled workers for specialized roles.
A long-term challenge: 77% of manufacturers say they will have ongoing difficulties attracting and retaining workers in 2021 and beyond.
But the news isn’t all bad; below are a couple of great things going on in manufacturing in North America:
For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $2.79 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. In addition, for every one worker in manufacturing, there are another five employees hired elsewhere.
Manufacturers in the U.S. perform 61.8% of all private-sector R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector. R&D in the manufacturing sector has risen from $184.2 billion in 2000 to $293.6 billion in 2019.
In 2019, the average manufacturing worker in the U.S. earned $88,406, including pay and benefits. The average worker in all non-farm industries earned $71,390. Looking specifically at wages, the average manufacturing worker made more than $29.15 per hour in March, not including benefits. For production and nonsupervisory workers, the average in the sector was $23.28. That represented a 3.1% increase over March 2020 for production and nonsupervisory employees. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Knowing all of this information, some questions arise:
1. How can a person learn more about manufacturing and what is going on?
2. How can you find answers to questions you may have without being sold to?
3. How can I learn about companies and processes that are available?
To answer this question, we are introducing Manufacturing LIVE, a series on LinkedIn that will allow people to ask questions directly to manufacturers and industry experts. The goal is to provide a forum for all people to learn about manufacturing today and find answers to common questions related to manufacturing. This is your chance to learn about manufacturing and companies pushing the envelope while changing the stereotype that manufacturing is outdated and dirty.
Manufacturing LIVE will be on LinkedIn the first Tuesday of each month starting June 1st, 2020.
I look forward to your questions during our live streams so we can all learn how important manufacturing is to our everyday lives.