4. Lack of Skilled Workers
As manufacturing equipment becomes more advanced, companies need more technically skilled workers to operate and service it. Finding these kinds of employees can be difficult in some locations. For this reason, a number of manufacturers have decided to move their production back to America, where it is easier to find more highly educated workers.
This rising demand for more skilled workers has also caused wages to rise, especially in areas where finding these workers is more difficult. Some of the demand for skills has shifted to those who know how to work with advanced technologies that use automation or smart technologies.
These workers may get paid more, but because of the technology they’re using, they can get more done than an average worker. This enables manufacturers to hire fewer workers, which keeps costs lower and increases the appeal of bringing operations back to the US, where a larger share of their workforce can be highly skilled.
Although more manufacturing jobs have been coming back to the US, the numbers are certainly still not as high as they once were. By 2011, the United States had lost 6 million manufacturing jobs. The country gained back half a million of those jobs by the end of 2016.
The jobs that came back aren’t quite the same as ones that left, either. They deal with more advanced technology and are being redistributed differently. These changes and all the many others may, however, be the beginning of a resurgence of American manufacturing. While the outlook has certainly been improving, we will have to wait and see — and continue working on it — before we determine what will ultimately happen.