The State of the Industry

CNN Money has an effective summary of the trend we’ve been talking about for years now, the move to more skilled employment in manufacturing:

The number of job openings for skilled factory workers has increased 38% since 2005, according to numbers from the Conference Board that measure labor demand across industries.
More strikingly, the sharpest increase in postings for skilled workers — 152% — has occurred in the last three or so years.
What’s behind the jump? Is this just catch-up growth from the recession, or setting the stage for more to come? It’s hard to say, but the article does point to two significant factors:
“What we’re seeing is the bottoming out of manufacturing,” said Michael Mandel, chief economy strategist with the Progressive Policy Institute. “The really sharp jump in wanted ads coincides with the portion of manufacturing that is switching from shrink to growth mode.” Driving the surge in demand for skilled workers is a mix of state and federal policy measures and changing economics of manufacturing.
States such as Alabama are aggressively courting local and international manufacturers. They are dangling tax breaks and other lucrative incentives to attract companies — and in turn are generating industry jobs and boosting their revenue.
Rising expenses in China are another big reason domestic factory work has heated up considerably in the last 12 months. As labor and raw material costs skyrocket, more American companies are bringing production back home.

Eagle Technologies Group is an industry leader in the design and installation of factory automation systems worldwide.

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