“The number one concern across every industry is the ability to find qualified labor,” explains Dennis Donovan, principal, WDG Consulting. “The shortage is pervasive and extends to all positions in manufacturing site selection.”


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