ameri resources


Need an office in metro Detroit, Alabama or Toronto? Office suites, meeting rooms, virtual offices, network access




free downloads
USA: "Manufacturing Resurgence – A Must for U.S. Prosperity" 2010 report

USA: "Manufacturing Resurgence – A Must for U.S. Prosperity" 2010 report. 40-page report by National Association of Manufacturers.

proceed to download
eJournals





back to index backAMERItalk September,  2016


Don’t Blame A ‘Skills Gap’ For Lack Of Hiring In Manufacturing

U.S. factories are hiring again. Or they’re trying to, anyway. Manufacturers posted 379,000 job openings in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. That’s up more than 280 percent — close to quadruple — since the recession ended more than seven years ago.

When it comes to actually filling those jobs, though, the rebound has been far more gradual. Hiring is up just 36 percent since the end of the recession and has been pretty much flat over the past year. Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs are going unfilled.

More Economics

What’s behind that gap? The Wall Street Journal last week offered a simple explanation: Companies can’t find enough skilled workers. Manufacturing jobs have become more technical, but workers haven’t kept up. That’s left companies with a glut of low-skilled workers and a shortage of applicants who can really do the job.

This skills mismatch” theory is a favorite of corporate executives and the think tanks they fund. But it is based on scant evidence. Individual companies may be struggling to fill specific jobs, but the data shows little sign of an industrywide shortage of skilled workers. In fact, it’s not clear that companies are really trying hard to fill many of these jobs at all.

For starters, it’s worth defining what skilled” means in this context. Even today, manufacturing jobs rarely require a college degree. Some 62 percent of manufacturing production workers have no education past high school, and 80 percent have neither an associate nor a bachelor’s degree.1This is according to Current Population Survey data for February to July, the most recent six months available. These figures differ from those cited in the Journal story because the newspaper looked at all workers in the manufacturing sector, from the mailroom to the executive suite, while I focused on production workers” — those who work on the factory floor. Those numbers are pretty much the same for younger workers,2Defined here as those ages 25 to 34, although the exact cutoffs make little difference. suggesting manufacturers aren’t replacing less-educated older workers with more-educated young ones.3The industry is becoming more educated, but gradually. In 2006, 71 percent of production workers had a high school diploma or less, and 87 percent had no college degree. Manufacturing jobs don’t generally require formal certifications, either. Just 11.5 percent of manufacturing workers have either licenses (issued by the government) or certificates (issued by a private group), one of the lowest certification rates of any industry.4Among production workers, specifically, the certification rate is even lower, at 8.5 percent.

Rather than degrees or licenses, what employers say they are struggling to find are workers with industry-specific skills, such as how to program the machines that do much of the physical work in modern factories. But according to a new paper by economists Andrew Weaver and Paul Osterman, companies looking for workers with specialized computing skills don’t have any more trouble filling their vacancies than anyone else. (Advanced math was more of a stumbling block.) And three-quarters of manufacturers that Weaver and Osterman studied weren’t having trouble finding workers at all. Other researchers have similarly found little evidence for a serious skills gap, either in manufacturing or in other sectors.

The latest economic data doesn’t show much sign of a skills mismatch, either. If finding qualified workers is so hard, for example, then companies should be offering higher pay to attract and retain precious workers. That isn’t happening. Average hourly earnings for manufacturing workers were up 2.5 percent in August from a year earlier, before adjusting for inflation; that’s the same rate of growth as for workers in the rest of the private sector. Nor are companies pushing their existing employees to work overtime; weekly overtime has trended down since the start of the year.

Similarly, if qualified workers are such hot commodities, we would expect to see companies poaching them from each other. But the number of factory workers voluntarily quitting their jobs (whether to take new ones or for some other reason) has risen only slowly in the recovery and remains well below its prerecession level.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: FiveThirtyEight - GAI





previous page

go top
search our site


Loading

AMERItalk

Other articles from the same issue (September,  2016).

The Growing Role of Mexico in the North American Automotive Industry - Trends, Drivers and Forecasts
play read on

The Auto Industry’s Real Challenge
play read on

Autos: North America Build Reflects Stable Environment (download report)
play read on

Key facts about Canada's automotive industry
play read on

Federal Automated Vehicles Policy: 6 Key Issues for the Automotive Supply Chain
play read on

The Potential Effects of the 2017-2025 EPA/NHTSA GHG/Fuel Economy Mandates on the U.S. Economy
play read on

GM auto workers in Canada OK new contract
play read on

Sorry China, the future of next-generation manufacturing is in the US
play read on

NAFTA’s Impact on the U.S. Economy: What Are the Facts?
play read on

Manufacturers Challenge Overtime Rule
play read on

The Aggregate Economic Cost of New Labor Market Regulations
play read on

U.S. Companies Turn to German Training Model to Fill Jobs Gap
play read on

Don’t Blame A ‘Skills Gap’ For Lack Of Hiring In Manufacturing
play read on

Robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021, report says
play read on

Ten Mistakes U.S. Businesses Make When Shipping To Canada
play read on

America’s Promise to Fund Manufacturing Education
play read on

Sourcing multi-year compensation, stock options, for foreign tax credit limitation
play read on

Canada: Are employers responsible for protecting their employees on social media? "Yes" according to a recent decision
play read on

Brexit: What now for US companies?
play read on

How to Bring Back Manufacturing Jobs
play read on

Ontario, Canada: Perception vs. Reality
play read on

Toronto is poised to become the next great producer of tech startups
play read on

Employment-at-Will Versus the Discharge-for-Just-Cause-Only Standard: A Critical Employment Law Distinction
play read on

EEOC Issues New Guidance on Retaliation
play read on

U.S.: Expatriate taxation - Don't be a cowboy!
play read on

Canada: Expected shorter wait-period for certain government benefits might affect employer plans
play read on

Bird's Eye View: Comparing Chinese Investment into North America and Europe
play read on

Labor Day Origins: Examining US And Canada Labor Laws
play read on

Notice 2016-52: Foreign tax credit related to foreign-initiated adjustments
play read on

How to move abroad: Practical advice for anxious Americans
play read on

U.S. Cities Slipping in Race for Global Competitiveness, According to PwC’s Cities of Opportunity 7
play read on


Our Free eJournals
GlobalAutoExperts

To visit GlobalAutoExperts Directory, click here.


©2008 GlobalAutoIndustry.com | HCI Group, Ltd.
101 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 1400 | Troy, MI 48084 USA
USA Tel: +1.248.687.1060 | USA Fax: +1.248.927.0347
Fax UK: +44.(0)845.127.4765 | Fax Europe: +31.20.524.1659 | Fax Asia: +852.3015.8120