Saturday, October 20, 2012

BCG research: US skills gap in manufacturing isn’t as bad as feared - Boston.com

BCG research: US skills gap in manufacturing isn't as bad as feared

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff

A shortage of US manufacturing skills isn't as bad as feared, according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group.

BCG estimates that the U.S. is short some 80,000 to 100,000 highly skilled manufacturing workers, which works out to less than 1 percent of the nation's 11.5 million manufacturing workers.

And in many cases, the skill shortages are localized. Baton Rouge, Charlotte, Miami, San Antonio, and Wichita, for example, appear to have significant or severe skills gaps, BCG said.

One cause for concern: The average US high-skilled manufacturing worker is 56 years old.

''Shortages of highly skilled manufacturing workers exist and must be addressed, but the numbers aren't as bad as many believe,'' Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the research, said in a statement. ''The problem is very localized. It's much less of an issue in larger communities, where supply and demand evens out more efficiently thanks to the bigger pool of workers.''

BCG is a global management consulting firm specializing in giving advice on business strategy. It has 77 offices in 42 countries.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.


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Kenyatta Lovett
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