As of last month, the national unemployment rate was 4.3%, which is the lowest it’s been in a decade. According to ManpowerGroup Inc.’s most recent employer confidence quarterly survey, we will be seeing a healthy pace of job creation in Q3 of this year. With such a low unemployment rate, employers are having difficulty filling the jobs they’re creating. Furthermore, the competitive labor market is leading to an increase in turnover which only exacerbates the issue. This is particularly true in manufacturing settings, where the traditional workforce is either uninterested in entry-level manufacturing work or under qualified for the skilled positions needed.
We often hear from our manufacturing clients that younger generations aren’t as attracted to manufacturing jobs as other generations once were. They say that these “kids” don’t want to have physically demanding jobs and that they’d rather work for a similar wage at a convenience store where they can be in air-conditioning and have better shifts. A lot of manufacturing jobs have changed over the past few decades, though. Variable workforces have become much more common, and the traditional career path within a manufacturing setting isn’t necessarily there.
We also hear a lot about a skills gap. Companies can’t find qualified candidates to fill their skilled positions. With so much focus on the benefits of going to a four-year college, other great options like vocational and technical schools haven’t looked as attractive, though hopefully, this is changing. So how are organizations handling this skills gap and what ways can you look within your own workforce to solve this pressing issue?
These issues would be difficult in any labor market, but when potential employees are scarce, they become even more pronounced.
Editor's note: This webinar was originally presented in June 2017. To view the recording, click the link below.