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NEW workforce report: Upskilling and Downsizing of American Manufacturing

Raise your hand if you started your job right out of high school. Keep it up if this first job was in manufacturing. A new report shows that there are fewer and fewer of you out there. In fact, workers with post-secondary education now OUTNUMBER workers with a high school diploma or less in #manufacturing. What does this mean for the industry and for YOU or your company? Read the full report.

The report, produced by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, found that the industry experienced a loss of nearly seven million manufacturing jobs since 1979 due to automation, globalization, and a more networked economy. This paralleled a shift in worker education requirements. See below:

  1. In the 1970’s, 79% of manufacturing workers had a high school diploma or less

  2. By 2016 this percentage had declined to 43%

  3. Over the same period, the share of the manufacturing workforce with some college education, but no degree, grew to 26%

  4. The share of workers with bachelor’s degrees grew to 30%

Nevertheless, for workers with less than a bachelor’s degree, manufacturing was still the largest provider of good jobs in 35 states in 2016, and it still provided 4.8 million of these jobs nationally. However, manufacturing is not expected to be a major job machine in the future, with employment expected to decline 2%—or by 253,000 net jobs—as of 2027.

So, we know the workforce is changing. Are you prepared? Have you started taking action to appeal to the next generation of workers?

Engage resources like Missouri Enterprise to take a closer look at your current workforce recruitment and retention practices as well as your overall company culture to ensure they’re best suited for all employees and situations.

Want to stay engaged and in the know when it comes to workforce development in manufacturing? Click here to subscribe to the “Workforce” topic or to others such as workshops/events, Continuous Improvement and more!

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