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Attract and Retain Top Manufacturing Talent in 3 Key Steps

April 18, 2017

The manufacturing industry is in flux. Workforce data shows that the types of people working in manufacturing are changing, as are the skills they need.

The ADP Research Institute Q4 Workforce Vitality Report shows that despite the decline in manufacturing jobs (0.3 percent on an annual basis in the past quarter), the role of the factory worker will not disappear. It will, instead, change.

Similarly, automation is here, and it’s not slowing down. McKinsey’s 2017 A Future That Works report estimates that 49 percent of tasks people are paid to do in the global economy have the potential to become automated. The fundamental shifts taking place in manufacturing are affecting not just the way people work, but also the skills today’s workers need to have.

First, increased automation demands a more highly-skilled labor force. In fact, 30 percent of the workers moving into the manufacturing industry are coming from professional services. This segment is gaining fast on the 38 percent who have traditionally entered manufacturing from trade and transportation.

Those who can maintain and operate modern IT systems are especially in demand for manufacturing. And they’re paid more, too. Employees entering manufacturing from the fields of professional services, trade and transportation, and information technology see an average increase of 6.7 percent in wages, according to Workforce Vitality Report.

Second, and conversely, we are seeing “traditional” manufacturing workers exit the industry and experience a 2 percent decrease in wages in their new jobs. But this varies industry by industry. The 22 percent of workers who are leaving manufacturing to enter trade and transportation experience a 4.2 percent decrease in wages. On the bright side, the 24 percent of workers exiting manufacturing for professional services see a one percent wage increase.

Read more here.