Soon-to-retire workers could be a problem for manufacturing businesses

September 13, 2011

Throughout the United States, businesses in the manufacturing industry are preparing to deal with an issue that could be a serious problem for the entire sector. A great number of skilled workers currently employed in such companies are set to retire in a few years’ time, an event that will greatly add to the existing lack of talented staff in the sector and cost company officials a considerable amount of money.

This conclusion arrived in the form of a survey that was a collaborative effort between Advanced Technology Services, Inc. and The Nielsen Company, questioning senior executives in the U.S. manufacturing sector. All of these high-ranking industry professionals belonged to companies with revenues of $10 million or more, with 62 percent of them making anywhere from $100 million to more than $1 billion.

Among the most successful companies polled, with revenues of at least $1 billion, this forthcoming work shortage will be particularly devastating. These firms will lose about $100 million or more during the next five years. Nearly half of these company leaders are urging their older employees to avoid retiring early to lessen the damage as much as possible.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that from January to April of 2011, job growth in manufacturing averaged 35,000 new positions each month, before dropping to 14,000 per month for the remainder of the year so far.

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