Study Finds 1.9 Million Jobs Could be Left Unfilled, Underscoring Need for Employee-Focused Strategies

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A new report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute reveals that the US manufacturing industry could require up to 3.8 million additional jobs by 2033. However, if manufacturers fail to address the skills gap and applicant gap, approximately 1.9 million of these jobs could go unfilled.

The report highlights the critical need for the manufacturing industry to invest in strategies that attract and retain employees to keep up with expected growth. Attracting and retaining talent was identified as the primary business challenge for 65% of respondents. Without significant changes, over 50% of the projected jobs could remain vacant.

The demand for higher-level skills, particularly digital skills, is growing as operations and products become more complex. Deloitte predicts that up to 5 in 10 skilled open positions, or 1.9 million jobs, could go unfilled if the skills and applicant gaps are not addressed.

To meet the evolving expectations of the workforce, manufacturers are increasing investments and implementing strategies aligned with these expectations. Flexibility, including flexible work arrangements, was identified as most impactful for retaining employees. Additionally, investments in training, technology, and policies that meet employee expectations are crucial for future growth.

Manufacturers are also forming partnerships with technical colleges, industry associations, universities, state and regional economic development agencies, and K-12 schools to improve job attraction and retention. These partnerships focus on supporting training programs and increasing interest in manufacturing careers through apprenticeships, work studies, and internships.

The report emphasizes that the manufacturing industry must prioritize talent development and invest in building a diverse and inclusive workforce to meet the increasing demand for digital skills and sustain ongoing growth.

The US manufacturing industry is facing a significant challenge in terms of talent shortage. According to a report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the industry could require up to 3.8 million additional jobs by 2033. However, if manufacturers fail to address the skills gap and applicant gap, nearly half of these jobs, about 1.9 million, could go unfilled.

In response to the projected growth, manufacturers are recognizing the need to invest in strategies that attract and retain employees. As the report highlights, attracting and retaining talent was identified as the primary business challenge for 65% of respondents. Without significant changes, over 50% of the projected jobs could remain vacant.

The demand for higher-level skills, especially digital skills, is increasing as manufacturing operations and products become more complex. Deloitte predicts that up to 5 in 10 skilled open positions, or 1.9 million jobs, could go unfilled if the skills and applicant gaps are not addressed.

To meet the evolving expectations of the workforce, manufacturers are increasing their investments and implementing strategies aligned with these expectations. Flexibility, including flexible work arrangements, has been identified as the most impactful factor in retaining employees. Manufacturers are also making investments in training, technology, and policies that meet employee expectations, which are crucial for future growth.

Partnerships between manufacturers and various educational institutions and organizations have also been formed to improve job attraction and retention. These partnerships focus on supporting training programs and increasing interest in manufacturing careers through apprenticeships, work studies, and internships. Technical colleges, industry associations, universities, state and regional economic development agencies, and K-12 schools are all part of these collaborative efforts.

The report emphasizes that the manufacturing industry must prioritize talent development and invest in building a diverse and inclusive workforce to meet the increasing demand for digital skills and sustain ongoing growth. The industry needs to address the skills gap and applicant gap by implementing effective strategies and forming partnerships to ensure that the projected job growth is met.