From The Editor

Help Wanted: Jobs Still Available in Manufacturing Sector

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MCN Editor Dan Markham A slowing economy has had little substantive impact on the job market for the manufacturing sector. That’s one conclusion to draw from a recent outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Of the respondents to NAM’s survey, almost three-quarters said the inability to attract and retain workers remains their primary business concern. A previous survey noted this struggle would impact their ability to make investments or expand.

The overall jobs numbers are somewhat mixed. The manufacturing sector added just 15,000 workers during the first six months of 2023, well below the nearly 400,000 added in both 2021 and 2022.

On the other hand, the past two years of job growth has left the sector with nearly 13 million employees in June, approaching the highest figure since 2008.

Those robust numbers don’t come close to filling all of the available openings, however. There remain more than 600,000 job openings, boosted by 293,000 quits in the sector.

“While there are signs that the labor market is cooling, both for manufacturers and the macroeconomy, employment remains not far from a 15-year high while wage growth continues to increase very solidly,” NAM reported. 

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