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Skilled labour shortage threatens manufacturing

1 September 2021

Before the pandemic, 38% of US manufacturers had trouble finding candidates with the right skills and today that number is 54%, said The Workforce Institute at UKG.

While more than half, 54%, of manufacturers have achieved year-over-year growth, despite combatting the pandemic, workforce issues have escalated. “The Resilience of Manufacturing: Strengthening people operations and bridging the talent gap amid crisis,” a study from the Workforce Institute at UKG based on a survey of more than 300 hiring decision-makers representing a mix of U.S.-only manufacturers (65%) and multinational manufacturers with a strong U.S. presence (35%). found that finding talent with the right skills has been more difficult. Before the pandemic, 38% of manufacturers faced this issue and today that number has increased to 54%.

IndustryWeek talked to Kylene Zenk, director of the Manufacturing Practice at UKG to further explore the conclusions from the report.

IW: What are the reasons behind the problems finding skilled workers?

KZ: There are a number of reasons including:• Employees aren’t just calling out of scheduled shifts on short notice — many are actually “ghosting” their employer by skipping a scheduled shift with zero notice.
• Between January and March 2021, more than two in three manufacturers (68%) let employees go due to poor attendance, and 13% said managers had to adjust labour schedules every day to account for unplanned absences.
• Turnover is up 15% over the prior year: Nearly three in five manufacturers (59%) experienced “higher-than-average” turnover from March 2020 to March 2021, compared with 44% from March 2019 to March 2020. Among multinationals, 71% said turnover was up during the first year of the pandemic vs. 52% of U.S.-only manufacturers.

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Source: industryweek

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