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40% More Manufacturing Jobs, But Skills Shortage Getting Worse

Posted By Paul Tate, October 13, 2011 at 6:35 AM, in Category: Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

Recent reports from Reuters note that there are hundreds of thousands of jobs out there in the US, but companies can’t find the right skilled workers to fill them – and the situation looks to be getting worse.

Although there are around 14 million Americans unemployed, a survey by Manpower Group found that a record 52 percent of U.S. employers are have difficulty filling critical positions within their organizations -- up from 14 percent in 2010.

The reason? They can’t find the people with the right levels of skills, especially advanced STEM skills.

Unemployment in manufacturing is at 8.4 percent, below the overall rate of 9.1 percent. According to the Labor Department's latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, there were 240,000 open jobs in manufacturing in August, up by 38.7 percent from a year ago.

The strongest job growth is concentrated in healthcare and the scientific, technical and computer fields, which usually require at least a post-secondary education.

"The old jobs are not coming back. We need to invest in education and training to get people prepared to fill these high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future," said Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens Corp., which has 3,000 vacancies nationwide that it’s finding hard to fill.

Is the worsening skills shortage hurting your company’s hiring plans and hindering growth?

Written by Paul Tate

Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive


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