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The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond

The 2015 Skills Gap Report reinforces the talent challenge that U.S. manufacturers face and warns of even greater skilled worker shortages in the near future. By Deloitte & The Manufacturing Institute

May 4, 2017

A strong manufacturing industry is fundamental to our nation’s economic prosperity.

Since the industrial revolution, manufacturing has contributed to higher export potential, better standards of living, and more jobs.

Investments in manufacturing have a strong multiplier effect for the broader economy, too.

Every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the U.S. economy, and every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility creates an additional 250 jobs in other sectors.1,2 In short, manufacturing matters.

Current macro-economic conditions indicate the global and the U.S. economies will experience low to moderate growth over the next two years.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the global economy to grow by 3.3 to 3.8 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively. They also project the U.S. economy to grow by 2.2 to 3.1 percent, and manufacturing production to grow by 3 to 4 percent during the same period.

A brighter economic future may lie ahead, and as a result, many U.S. manufacturers are optimistic they will regain momentum.

Despite this favorable outlook, they will likely face some familiar, yet significant, challenges. Not least among these is talent.

This is not new – for years, manufacturers have reported a sizeable gap between the talent they need to keep growing their businesses and the talent they can actually find.

Beyond today’s talent issues though, what do manufacturers need to address for future years? And, what is the trajectory of the skills gap over the next decade?


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