Made in America is back, leaving American factories scrambling to find workers


New York
CNN Business

US factories are booming and manufacturers are scrambling to find workers as the pace of employment has reached levels not seen in decades.

Friday September jobs report US manufacturers showed another 22,000 workers added in September, boosting employment in the sector by nearly 500,000 over the past 12 months.

This makes up nearly 13 million workers in American factories The largest workforce in the industry since the Great Recession caused employment in this sector to decline more than a dozen years ago. Since April, industrial employment has grown at an annual rate of about 4%, the fastest sustained pace of growth since 1984, when the sector more than doubled the share of U.S. jobs.

Employers say they are now scrambling to fill more jobs. sector was about 800,000 slots For most of the past year, though, the hiring frenzy, according to a Labor Department report.

with supply chains It caused many US companies that had been dependent on outside suppliers to shift their focus to sourcing parts and goods closer to home, causing problems throughout the global economy.

Hayden Jenison of Jennison Corporation, a Carnegie Corporation of Pennsylvania, which makes everything from firefighting equipment to construction machinery, said Hayden Jennison. He said there was enough demand for his goods to provide a full overtime shift at the factory. But even though he pays $20-30 an hour, he can’t find the workers he needs.

“Employment has been an issue since 2020,” Jennison said. “Recruiting experienced candidates who understand the industry and understand what they are doing has been very challenging.”

Factory and production jobs usually take a hit during economic downturns, as they did during the Great Recession. but even with Fears of a growing economic recession Currently, Industry experts don’t expect factory jobs to lag behind their usual boom-to-bust role this time around.

“I think we’re in uncharted territory,” said Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “For every 100 jobs available in this sector, we only have 60 people looking. I think it will take some time to fill this pipeline.”

Timmons said wages in the sector have risen 5% over the past year, and he expects to continue rising as manufacturers scramble for skilled labour.

Experts say one of the biggest problems manufacturers face in attracting workers is their awareness of the nature of the job.

“We often look at manufacturing photos and see flying sparks and welding environment And maybe a little sloppy, dark. Our manufacturing jobs today are largely high-tech, said Eric Isoda, CEO of a not-for-profit company that provides consulting and training services to small and medium-sized manufacturers in northeastern Pennsylvania.

One group of employers they look to for more help: women. Manufacturing remains a male-dominated industry, with women occupying only 30% of hourly factory jobs, according to the Non-Aligned Movement. But that’s up from just 27% two years ago, and the Institute for Manufacturing, the education and workforce development arm of the Non-Aligned Movement, has various programs aimed at raising the proportion of women working on factory floors to 35% by 2030.

Today less than 10% of private sector jobs are in manufacturing, compared to more than 40% at the end of World War II. But it’s still a key sector of the economy, and one that pays much better than many other sectors. The Department of Labor reports that the median weekly wage for manufacturing jobs is $1,250, or $65,000 annually — 11% more than private sector jobs overall, and 81% more than retail jobs.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Hayden Jennison’s job title.

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