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Skilled Labor Shortage
Skilled Labor Shortage Will Cost US Manufacturers $7.4 Billion
The American workforce pool has a shortage of skilled labor, and not enough people are training to fill these advertised positions. Thus, there is abundant opportunity in training programs and employment openings in skilled labor occupations. Such labor shortages are often cyclical, but this time it's going to be pretty serious.
Look for the US Federal Government to support these initiatives with funding for training programs, etc.; especially if the change in the White House in 2008 includes a party change. There is already quite a move to transform skilled jobs into green (eco-friendly) skilled occupations, and that may become a big push in employment and training circles in January 2009. Government subsidies for green training and jobs would back that up.
Manufacturers will face that shortage of skilled labor before 2012 and continue to suffer from it. The costs to manufacturers will be very high.
A recent study into this US workforce problem was performed by Advanced Technology Services, Inc. (ATS) and Nielsen Entertainment's Consumer Products Group.
Skilled Workers Needed
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[...] today, we have openings, and we can't find qualified technicians to take these jobs. Since trucks began rolling off the San Antonio production line in 2006, TMMTX has cited a skilled workforce gap of anywhere from 10 to 50 available positions f
$4,700,000,000 to be Lost
According to this study of 94 senior manufacturing executives, the skilled-labor shortage will cost manufacturers an average $50 million each. Nationally, that is $4,700,000,000.
One compounding factor is that a full 40% of the skilled labor force is set to retire over the next five years, 2007 - 2012. There are not enough younger people entering the skilled labor training and occupations to full this void. This loss of workforce is what 2/3 of the manufacturers surveyed say will lose them an average of $50 million each.
However, this is not the worst part of the situation. Of the 94 executives surveyed, 46% of them (all of them having $1 billion in revenue) say that they will be hurt for more, financially.
They say they will each lose an average of over $100 million in the next five years, by 2012.
Worker Retention is Important
Worker retention is a problem faced by all companies in all industry fields in America.
Worker retention is actually the topic of many masters' theses and PhD dissertations in this decade. Employers throughout the US are asking how they can attract and keep the best workers.
There are consulting corporations looking into this matter as well and offering help to employers at a price. The coming worker shortage will cost employers money, one way or another.
The five-year forecasting timeframe for cost predictions is based on information and standard statistical/accounting practices of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Association of Manufacturers. Most of the state labor market forecasts from the US BLS are scaled for 2006 - 2014 or 2004 - 2012.
Already, many US jobs are being outsourced to other countries. Undocumented immigrants are working in some of these jobs in the country. Some are even receiving skilled training. The advancing skilled-worker shortage is frightening to US manufacturers. The Baby Boomers will have largely retired by 2012. Some of them will have a few years left to work. Others will be forced by economics to return to work, but likely not in skilled trades - probably in service and hospitality jobs. There still won't be enough trained people to fill the jobs that are vacated by the retirees. At the same time, some skilled workers are returning to school and accepting other employment. A few are starting their own businesses.
Manufacturer need to actively recruit and educate a new generation of factory workers and improve the public image of factory work and skilled workers.
Having suffered declines and setbacks before, the automotive manufacturing sector will be hurt most of all. This has been a gradually decline since the 1950s and is spurred on by alternative fuel and transport developments.
Ball bearing and roller bearing makers with be hit the next hardest with costs, followed by metal valve manufacturers, then engine/transmission manufacturers.