Smart Manufacturing / Changing Workforce / Career Development / STEM Education

Perspective: There are still 488,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Manufacturers are working to fix it.

By Carolyn Lee, executive director, The Manufacturing Institute

Oct 16, 2018

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Manufacturers are creating a historic number of new jobs, but as new numbers out just this morning from the Labor Department show, our industry faces a workforce crisis that could leave millions of lucrative jobs unfilled in the years to come. Indeed, today’s new Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reveal that there are, at last count, about 488,000 open manufacturing jobs in the United States. While this number is down a bit from the previous month, overall the number of unfilled manufacturing jobs is projected to continue to grow in the coming years, which could have a dampening effect on both manufacturing in the United States and broader economic growth in our country.

The Manufacturing Institute has launched a wide variety of programs to tackle the skills gap crisis, from Heroes MAKE America (which helps match returning servicemembers with great new manufacturing opportunities) and STEP Ahead (which supports women in manufacturing in a variety of ways) to Manufacturing Day (which saw more than 2,700 manufacturers across the nation open their doors on October 5 to students, parents, teachers, policymakers and community leaders to show them all that a career in manufacturing has to offer the next generation).

Read the full perspective at