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Manufacturing Job Openings Decline

The manufacturing job market has started to cool (Financial Advisor).

What’s going on: In April, job vacancies in manufacturing fell to their lowest level in more than three years, mirroring the larger job-opening landscape.

  • There were 516,000 open positions in manufacturing in April, down from 546,000 in March (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • In the larger economy, “[a]vailable positions decreased to 8.06 million from a downwardly revised 8.36 million reading in the prior month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as JOLTS, showed Tuesday.”

Durable and nondurable: Openings in durable goods declined to 340,000 in April from 355,000 in March.

  • Job vacancies in nondurable goods decreased to 175,000, down from 191,000 in March.

Separations: Meanwhile, separations—quits, layoffs, discharges and other severance of employment—in manufacturing rose to 385,000 in April from 332,000 in March. That’s the highest since last August.

  • Quits rose to 225,000, an increase from 186,000 in March.
  • Layoffs rose to 136,000 in April from 124,000 in March.

The bottom line: “Manufacturing continues to have a gap of over 500,000 open jobs, which is still elevated above pre-pandemic levels—and this makes it harder for companies to compete,” said Manufacturing Institute President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee. The MI is the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education affiliate.

  • “In a tight market for skilled talent, retention has to remain a top focus. From recruiting from new talent pools to focusing on key retention elements, such as culture and flexible scheduling, manufacturers remain focused on their most essential resource: their workforce.”
  • From 2017 to 2019, manufacturing averaged 432,000 job openings per month.
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