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The State of Manufacturing Jobs Now and In the Future

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics published a news release detailing the job openings and labor turnover in November 2016. It showed there were 5.5 million job openings in the month of November, of which 324,000 represented the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing employment rose by 1,100 according to the estimated one-month employment change for manufacturing, seasonally adjusted for Washington State from October 2016 to November 2016. Of those, 600 jobs were added in durable goods manufacturing and 500 jobs were added in non-durable goods manufacturing.

According to some reports, in addition to the open manufacturing jobs, over the next decade, over three million manufacturing jobs will be added with the majority of those going unfilled due to the skills gap. Manufacturers report the increase in technical skills needed for manufacturing jobs result in a talent shortage as few young people see manufacturing as a career path.

As the workforce changes with the retirement of baby boomers, companies may start looking at developing ways to train the next generation to attract and retain employees as the skills gap increases due to the lack of knowledge in technology/computers, problem solving, and math.