The national March 2012 Institute of Supply Management Report on Business is based on data compiled from purchasing and supply executives across the nation. These professionals have knowledge of the manufacturing sector as a whole and details on the economies of individual industries within the sector.
The Report on Business states that activity in the manufacturing sector grew for the 32nd consecutive month. In particular, growth occurred in 15 out of 18 industries.
But with baby boomer’s retiring, who handles the new work?
Employers are seeking skilled workers not only to handle burgeoning growth but also to replace the baby boomers who are retiring. Though some boomers have delayed retirement to replace lost retirement savings, they will soon begin to drop out of the workforce. This is reaching a critical point in the Midwest.
When the boomers depart, companies will be left with labor shortages, and consequently, lost productivity. According to Cleveland.com “The long-term implications [of labor shortage] are especially pronounced in Ohio, where the population of prime working-age adults has declined faster than most other states.” The issue in Dayton, Cleveland and Youngstown seems to be a labor shortage and not a job shortage.
David Dysinger, a manufacturing manager at the family owned precision machining company in Dayton, explained that skilled tradesmen don’t appear overnight. “It’s very hard to hire experienced people because there are more jobs than there are skilled people in the labor pool.” He noted that it takes about 10 years for new hire to become a “top notch” tool maker or machinist.
Springfield’s McGregor Metalworking president Dane Belden estimates 15 percent of his workforce is age 60 or older. He has initiated an internship program to help bring in younger workers.
This labor deficit should give working-age adults a plethora of jobs from which to choose.
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