“The long global distribution supply chains are costly,” says WDG Consulting’s Donovan. “So we are finding there is more regional manufacturing, operations and distribution, and most of this is due to customer demands. For a Tier 1, 2 or 3 supplier delivery needs to ideally be within four hours. Part of the reason for that is that distribution centers are holding inventory that used to be stocked at the manufacturers’ sites.”


Growth has always been the foundation of the U.S. economy. Though sometimes slower than preferred, the GDP still grows every year. Businesses therefore always project growth; staying the same in revenue or profits is not an ideal state. And therefore employment is always expected to grow along with the general economy.

But a study last year found that for the first time since 2007, a labor shortage appears to be slowing job growth. According to a survey by PeopleReady, a staffing firm that specializes in placing manufacturing workers, most noteworthy, year-over-year job growth is now at 1.6%, down from 2.3% in February 2015. During that same time, however, job openings remained at close to record levels. The result is that the demand for labor is greater than the supply.

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