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Two Million Manufacturing Job Openings Expected Through 2018, Predicts New Report

09/14/2011
Thanks to Baby Boomers retiring, about million manufacturing jobs will be available nationally through 2018 according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

That same report confirmed the sombering news that, since the Great Recession began in 2007, the Midwest has lost 610,000 manufacturing jobs. Those positions represent 31 percent of all the manufacturing jobs lost during that timeframe in the United States.

Some other key findings in "The Midwest Challenge: Matching Jobs with Education in the Post-Recession Economy" include:

  • Manufacturing and agricultural employment in the Midwest will continue to decline 4 and 1 percent (respectively) through 2018 as the economy continues its transition into a services-based economy.

  • Manufacturing is still growing tremendously in output, and is more productive than ever despite a decline in employment. Manufacturing productivity per worker in 2010 was three times what it was in 1970; meaning fewer workers are needed to produce more goods.

  • Despite the Midwest's heavy reliance on manufacturing, Midwestern states are no longer solely dependent on that industry alone. New jobs in the region will be in high-skill service industries, such as education and healthcare.

"As long as we remain focused on the economic wreckage in our rearview mirror, that is the low-skill, middle-wage jobs that have been lost," said Anthony P. Carnevale, the Center's director, "the Midwest will be hurtling unprepared into our economic future. The focus must be redirected towards connecting education, training and careers to create, attain and maintain middle-class jobs."

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curriculum and career paths.

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