The US manufacturing industry shows a spark of life

Jess Shanahan
- People and Skills - Nov 18, 2015

The manufacturing industry in the US has been steadily declining over the past few months but October showed a small amount of growth, an indication that there’s still life in the sector.

The growth was small at just 0.4% but this is very promising after the industry declined in August and September.

The auto industry is up by 0.7%, which is great news for this huge US sector.

Industrial growth could’ve climbed more had it not been for the sharp decline in energy production but the Federal Reserve data shows that 13 of the 20 main manufacturing industries showed growth and overall it’s up 1.9% from October 2014.

This is very good news for a sector that has been in steady decline for the past 10 years. Manufacturing is essential to a country’s economic health as it affects so many other industries, including infrastructure.

One thing holding back the industry is the increasing need for skilled workers. With technology playing a huge part in the growth and innovation of the sector, the workforce needs to have more advanced and technological skills. Without workers with these skills, companies can’t grow because they lack the innovation and talent to do so.

Thankfully, governments are starting to change their way of thinking when it comes to education and are focusing on the development of capabilities. This will lead to more on-the-job and industry-specific training.

The US is aware of the skills gap and is taking steps to recruit the next generation of workers. There are initiatives to bring more women into the industry, mentoring programmes and sponsorship opportunities, all designed to revive the industry through a skilled workforce.

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