According to a study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing skills gap in the U.S. could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. The cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.
The study’s findings derive from online surveys of more than 800 U.S.-based manufacturing executives, leaders, and economic analyses. They all fear the manufacturing labor shortage.
In August, U.S. manufacturers added 22,000 new positions, the economy added 315,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.7%.
The surveyed Manufacturers reported that finding the right talent is now 36% harder than pre-pandemic. Executives claim they struggle to fill higher-paying entry-level production positions, let alone find and retain qualified workers for specialized roles.
The study found that diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives exert a growing influence on workforce trends and can help manufacturers fill these open jobs. Manufacturers have work to do to attract larger numbers of women and diverse workers in an industry-wide effort to close the opportunity gap.
“Given the foundational role the manufacturing sector plays in our nation’s economy, it is deeply concerning that at a time when jobs are in such high demand nationwide, the number of vacant entry-level manufacturing positions continues to grow,” said Paul Wellener, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. industrial products and construction leader. “Attracting and retaining diverse talent presents both a challenge and solution to bridging the talent gap. To attract a new generation of workers, the industry should work together to change the perception of work in manufacturing and expand and diversify its talent pipeline.”
“Manufacturers are proud to lead efforts to build stronger, more diverse, and inclusive workplaces because we are committed to being the solution,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Institute. “As we expand our programs at The Manufacturing Institute, and work with the National Association of Manufacturers on initiatives like our Creators Wanted campaign and tour, we’re making sure that Americans of all backgrounds in all states can find a home in manufacturing and get equipped with the skills to seize these opportunities.”