Implications of the Manufacturing Skills Gap


According to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade, the U.S. manufacturing industry is expected to add 3.4 million jobs. This growth accounts for the exodus of Baby Boomers from the workforce and an increasing domestic and international demand.

Manufacturing executives attribute six out of 10 unfilled positions to the current skills gap. If the talent shortage continues at this rate for the next ten years, nearly two million of the predicted 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled.

Further illustrating this problem is the decline of vocational training in high schools. Throughout much of the 20th century, vocational training was commonly included in high school curriculums. However, high school curriculums in the 21st century have shifted away from teaching skills like welding, machining, sewing and woodwork; perhaps because jobs in these fields became scarce as overseas outsourcing grew in popularity.

A 2014 report by the California Department of Education indicated that the number of vocational high school teachers fell 20 percent between 2011 and 2012 and then declined an additional 20 percent the following year.

What does this mean for employers?

The estimated revenue loss per each manufacturing position that goes unfilled is $14,000 per year. If jobs in the U.S. manufacturing industry continue to increase and the skills gap does not improve, employers will experience a deficit in their production levels.

Want to learn more about all of the factors that are creating a talent shortage in light industrial labor? Check out our white paper, The Shift to a Job-Seeker’s Market and its Effect on the Light Industrial Workforce >