One of the reasons Manufacturing Day was started was to address what's known as the "skills gap" — the mismatch between the skills held by available workers and the skills that manufacturers require.
While it's something manufacturers have felt for a while, it was first formally documented in a landmark study published by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute in 2001, and then updated periodically.
The 2015 Skills Gap Report has just been released and the concerning trends continue — there's a growing misalignment of skills in the manufacturing sector.
To read a summary of the report, download the presentation we've posted on mfgday.com. And while you're there, register an event or sign up to attend one. Let's do something about this skills gap!
Harrisburg, PA (Central Penn Business Journal, April 13, 2015): The midstate economy faces a crisis that experts say is certain to get worse before it gets better.
And it has nothing to do with mortgage rates, investment capital, taxes or any of those important things. It's not inflation or recession that has business owners concerned.
The issue is labor — specifically, finding enough labor to unleash the potential economic boom on the midstate.
"We haven't seen the worst of it yet," said Darrell Auterson, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance. "We've had a number of the baby boomers moving out of the workforce, and there's going to be more of them moving out of the workforce in the next 10 to 15 years."
In the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, released March 31, all midstate metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) were well below state and national unemployment rates of 5.3 and 5.5 percent, respectively.
The Lancaster MSA ranked second in the state with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, while Harrisburg-Carlisle was tied for third at 4.3 percent.
Madison, WI (Manufacturing.net, April 1, 2015): U.S. businesses slowed their pace of hiring in March, a private survey found. The modest gains suggest that harsh winter weather has generated a broader slowdown that caused the survey to report gains of less than 200,000 jobs for the first time in 13 months.
Companies added a seasonally adjusted 189,000 jobs last month, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday. That's down from gains of 214,000 in February.
The slowdown in hiring was largely concentrated among firms with more than 1,000 employees. They added just 12,000 jobs last month, compared to 43,000 in February.
The construction, financial and trade and transportation sectors all reported adding jobs at a slower pace in March than February.
Overview of the Spring 2015 Job Fair
The March 2015 Job Fair consisted of 64 hiring employers. Sixty-six tables were sold, however two employers, Lancaster General Health and Manpower did not show up the day of the event. Additionally seven tables consisting of partners, internal programs, CareerLink, and one community agency, The Community Action Program of Lancaster (WIC) rounded out the participants for a total of 73 tables.
Charts representing 36 responses from the Employer Survey are included in the document below along with open ended comments.
Information regarding year to year attendance comparisons along with a breakdown of the type of jobseekers participating, is represented in the following two charts. Additional charts show results of the Jobseeker Survey as represented by the 369 responses out of 1,029 participants. A summary of comments is also provided.
This report contains information related to the March 11, 2015 Job Fair conducted at the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County. Additionally a summary of Jobseeker and Employer satisfaction survey results is included. Click here to open document.
Madison, WI (Manufacturing.net, March 19, 2015): The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits basically held steady last week, as the job market continues to outpace broader economic growth.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid rose slightly by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000. Jobless claims have been subdued for the past two weeks after winter storms caused them to spike at the end of February due to closed schools and construction sites.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 2,250 to 304,750. That average has dropped 7.5 percent over the past year.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When employers keep their workers, it is generally a sign that they expect continued economic growth and will likely increase hiring. Applications below 300,000 are typically consistent with healthy job gains.
The relatively modest number of applications contrast with the Federal Reserve's view announced Wednesday that economic growth has lost some momentum since the start of 2015.
Lancaster, PA (LancasterOnline.com, March 17, 2015): Lancaster County's unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent in January, the state reported Tuesday.
The new figure keeps the local jobless rate at its lowest point since June 2008.
By not changing from December, the jobless rate now has held steady or dropped in 30 of the past 33 months.
The county jobless rate also retained its usual status as second lowest among the state's 18 metropolitan areas.
Only State College, at 3.9 percent, had a better unemployment rate in January. The highest belonged to East Stroudsburg, at 6.5 percent.
A closer look at Lancaster County's January rate finds it resulted from the county having 11,200 residents without work but 261,000 with jobs.
A year earlier, in January 2014, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate stemmed from the county having 13,100 residents without work.
While the local jobless rate has shown significant progress in recent years, it's a half-point higher than when the recession began.
It was 3.6 percent in December 2007.
On the other hand, it's trending flat or downward, which is more than you can say about the state and national rates.
The state rate in January was 5.1 percent, up from 5.0 percent in December. The national rate was 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent.
Madison, WI (Manufacturing.net, March 10, 2015): Quitting your job — all but unheard of during and after the Great Recession — is becoming more common again. That could mean pay raises are coming for more Americans.
The trend has already emerged in the restaurant and retail industries, where quits and pay are rising faster than in the overall economy. Workers in those industries appear to be taking advantage of rising consumer demand to seek better pay elsewhere.
Workers who quit typically do so to take higher-paying jobs. That's why rising numbers of quits typically signal confidence in the economy and the job market. As the trend takes hold, employers are often forced to offer higher pay to hold on to their staffers or attract new ones.
The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of people who quit jobs rose 3 percent from December to January to 2.8 million — the most in more than six years. Quits have jumped 17 percent over the past 12 months.
Since the Great Recession ended, the figure has soared. Just 1.6 million people quit their jobs in August 2009, two months after the recession officially ended. That was the fewest for any month in the 14 years that the figures have been tracked.