Quantifying Manufacturing’s Labor Challenge

U.S. manufacturers added 349,000 manufacturing workers in 2021, the most since 1994. Yet the sector has 219,000 fewer workers today than it did before the pandemic began, according to Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. This is due, in part, to boomers retiring, millennials approaching middle age, and Gen Z being the smallest generation since Gen X.

The U.S. labor pool is set to grow just 0.2% a year from 2024 to 2031. Coincidently, the percentage of Americans in the labor pool over the past two decades has declined while federal spending for social welfare benefits has significantly increased. 2/8/2022