Manufacturing in the U.S. has been declared dead more than once. It was given “last rites” when the Midwest became known as the “Rust Belt” during the 1980s and manufacturing was once again counted out when manufacturing and light industrial jobs were sent overseas. More recently, “experts”, said that the U.S. would become a nation of hamburger flippers and techies. They were wrong!
Manufacturing in the U.S. is alive and well. Here are some interesting facts about manufacturing and warehouse jobs.
- Manufacturing adds more than $2.17 trillion to the American economy, adding $1.40 for every $1.00 spent by manufacturers.
- Small business rules in the manufacturing sector. About 85% of all manufacturers have fewer than 50 employees.
- Manufacturing and warehouse jobs constitute about 9% of the workforce. There are more than 12 million manufacturing jobs and an additional 18 million support jobs.
- There won’t be enough people to fill the jobs in manufacturing over the next ten years. It is estimated that 2 million of the 3.5 million jobs that will be created in this sector will go unfilled. There won’t be enough people with the skills to fill forklift operator jobs, for example.
- Workers without college degrees made almost 11% more in manufacturing than similar workers in other sectors of the economy.
- In 2014, manufacturing salaries averaged almost $80,000 a year, including benefits. By comparison, workers in other industries only earned a little over $64,000. The average hourly wage for a manufacturing worker was $25.19 per hour.
- In 2015, 92% of the workers in manufacturing companies were eligible to receive health insurance; this compares to an average of 79% for all businesses.
- U.S. manufacturers were forced to become more competitive in the global marketplace, stimulating growth in the sector. Since 1987, worker productivity has increased by 250%. Manufacturers of durable goods have experienced the greatest growth.
- Manufacturers are innovative, accounting for about 75% of all private sector research and development, more than from any other sector.
- The export of goods manufactured in the U.S. has quadrupled in the past 25 years. Manufacturing firms who export their products pay their workers 18% more than workers receive elsewhere.
There is enormous variety in manufacturing jobs, such as warehouse jobs and packaging jobs. The quality of American goods and the productivity of American workers bodes well for the continued growth of the manufacturing sector.
The Top 10 Skills Employers Want in New Employees
Whether you are trying to advance your career or land your next job, there are some skills that employers focus on more than others. If you want to make sure you have the greatest potential, it pays to take the time to improve in key areas to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd. Without question, adding new skills and personality improvements can go a long way in with any new position or opportunity.
What Employers Want
While all employers appreciate career-related experience and skills, other areas are universal across a wide range of occupations. A recent survey conducted by Microsoft revealed that there are some skills that most employers require, regardless of the profession. If you want to make sure you are increasing your potential and value as an employee, focus on improving these top ten skills:
- Self-Motivation – This shows employers that you will get the job done, without requiring constant guidance and supervision.
- Communication Skills – Professional careers require effective written and oral communication skills between fellow coworkers and clients.
- Experience in Sales and Customer Service – Experience in these areas show employers that you have the ability to interact with customers and deal with difficult situations. These skill sets require strong communication, and this is transferable to a wide range of professions.
- Problem Solving – Employers want employees that can think quickly and solve problems on their own by relying on their own skills and available resources. This also shows self-motivation and the ability to work independently.
- Team Building Skills – Interpersonal skills show an ability to work well within team settings to allow for better collaboration and relationships.
- Detail Oriented – The little things matter to employers, especially if you can show your ability to understand how one detail affects another in the workplace.
- Time Management – The ability to use time wisely by tracking progress, setting goals, and developing workable plans to achieve them shows the potential for increased production.
- Bilingual – The workplace is becoming more diverse. This has lead to a need for more employees that can communicate effectively in more than one language. Those that can speak Spanish, French, or Arabic are some of the most sought-after bilinguals.
- Microsoft Office – Employers across multiple professions list the ability to use Microsoft Office programs effectively as a requirement for new hires, with more advanced skills garnering the most attention.
- Honesty and Integrity – Employers want to know they can trust new hires. These are difficult skills to prove, but writing truthful information on your resume and being truthful during the interview goes a very long way.
Now that you know which skills are most valuable to employers, it time to take action. Look for training courses and certification programs in these areas. Many are available online, but a growing number of universities are also offering courses as well. If you aren’t sure which areas need improvement, look for soft skill assessments that will help you move in the right direction.
Once you have improved these skills, make sure to list any certifications on your resume – it will show employers that you are serious about learning the skills they need in new recruits.