Manufacturers struggling to find qualified plant workers
Even with unemployment near 9%, manufacturers are struggling to find enough skilled workers to meet modest job growth.
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. manufacturing companies, long known for layoffs and shipping jobs overseas, now find themselves in a very different position: scrambling for scarce talent at home.
Large and small manufacturers of everything from machine tools to chemicals are scouring for potential hires in high schools, community colleges and the military. They are poaching from one another, retraining people who used to have white-collar jobs, and in some cases even hiring former prisoners who learned machinist skills behind bars.
WSJ reporter James R. Hagerty describes how a three-part trend of increasing availability of manufacturing jobs, baby-boomer retirement, and a dearth of science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) graduates has led to an unprecedented labor shortage on the factory floor.
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.