Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


The Reformed Broker

Manufacturer needs and worker skills don't match up

Manufacturing  jobs are growing slowly because laborers don't have the skills that factories need. 

By Joshua M. BrownGuest blogger / February 29, 2012

A worker does quality checks on razor blades manufactured at Gillette's factory in Boston, Massachusetts in this December 5, 2011 file photo. Manufacturing jobs are suffering from the fact that, increasingly, worker skills don't match the market.

Brian Snyder/Reuters/File

Enlarge

Wells Fargo's Chief Economist is out with a look at the skills mismatch between what manufacturers need versus what the labor force in America can actually do.  John Silvia notes that this mismatch is nothing new even as it seems more and more pronounced.

Skip to next paragraph

Joshua has been managing money for high net worth clients, charitable foundations, corporations and retirement plans for more than a decade.

Recent posts

Further, his research finds that, like most things, the disconnect is a regional thing - certain parts of the country have fared better than others.

Regions That Successfully Countered The Trend

 The decline in manufacturing employment however has not been even across regions of country. In fact, the West and South both have seen very strong manufacturing job growth over the past decade. In the West, producers of technology products have added jobs while the South has benefited primarily from the relocation of facilities from higher-cost producing states in the Midwest to the lower-cost South as well as strong foreign direct investment in industries such as the auto industry. This trend however, is beginning to shift as the cost differentials between the U.S. and other nations such as China are eroding pushing non-durable manufacturing overseas while keeping many specialized, quality focused durable manufacturing in the region. However, the firms staying in the region continue to adopt more technology to stay competitive and thus today’s manufacturing workers need to continue to improve skill levels.

One of the big surprises in this endless balance sheet recession is that we haven't seen a lot more migration a la the Depression where people went to where the work (or the charity) was.  Especially given the disparity in regional economic strength this go-round.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on www.thereformedbroker.com.

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Editors' picks

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!