Over the past few decades, many jobs in manufacturing have been shipped overseas, leading to massive layoffs. However, in some places, employment has been increasing, with higher demand for skilled labor.
At the same time, while many are still waiting to find permanent jobs, a number of firms have been hard-pressed to find enough people with the right knowledge to fill these roles. According to the U.S. Labor Department, there were 326,000 open positions available in March, the highest numbers seen since November 2007. Also, an estimated 55,000 manufacturing new jobs became available during the month, the biggest increase since November 2005.
Experts say that many were waiting for enough qualified candidates to submit applications but were frustrated with the lack of talent.
"The manufacturing sector is clearly showing signs of a skills mismatch," said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays in an interview with Bloomberg. "It is likely to weigh on manufacturing growth. There’s a sharp divergence on what’s happening on the opening side and what’s happening on the hiring side,”
Kevin Ahaus, head of president of Ahaus Tool and Engineering in Indiana, said that he was having to turn down offers based on a lack of people to complete the assignments.
"We’re turning down some business because we can only take in so much with the staff we have,” Ahaus told the news outlet. “We could hire five more today.”