The manufacturing sector is facing a serious worker shortage, reports CNBC. The U.S. added 23,000 jobs in manufacturing in January, but there were 601,000 open positions in the industry in December, a three-month high, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
At the root of the problem is that companies relying on blue collar workers are losing candidates as older workers retire and younger people choose between college and the workforce.
The Manufacturing Institute, an industry advocate, projected in 2021 that some 4 million jobs will need to be filled in the industry by 2030 and more than 2 million jobs could go unfilled in the sector by that time if workers don’t pursue modern manufacturing careers.
“The biggest misperception about manufacturing is what modern manufacturing really looks like—people just don’t know,” says Carolyn Lee, president of the Manufacturing Institute. “They think that it’s antiquated or that you come in and you do one job. They don’t know that modern manufacturing today is all about technology.”
The group is broadening its recruitment efforts among workers of all demographics, backgrounds and ages, even starting to tell kids in middle schools about the opportunities in the industry. Read the full story.