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Logistics Jobs in Manufacturing Getting Harder to Fill

Aug. 22, 2014
Packaging and forklift operation are among most in demand.

Employers in the Midwestern U.S. are trying to hire, but half of them have open positions not being filled due to a lack of candidates, according to a new quarterly employment survey conducted by QPS Employment Group, a Wisconsin-based staffing and recruiting firm.

The pressure to fill those positions is increasing. More than 70 percent of companies indicated that they expect to hire from one to nine employees during the third quarter of 2014. And, the same percentage of companies has considered adding a training program to address the lack of skilled candidates.

“Our survey also revealed that a growing number of companies—more than 27 percent—will increase wages in the third quarter,” said Scott A. Mayer, president of QPS.

“While the majority of companies are not planning to implement wage increases, our local office staff say their most forward-thinking employers are bucking the trend to do what it takes to stay competitive,” added Mayer. “Unless more employers think this way, the industry will not be able to close the demand and supply gap you currently see.”

Strategies to deal with this talent drought include:

  • Raising wages to keep the employees they have, or
  • Raising wages ahead of the tide to attract new employees.

The Top 5 Jobs for general labor QPS identified throughout Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin are:

  1. Assembly
  2. Packaging
  3. Warehouse/Logistics
  4. Food Manufacturing
  5. Machine Operators

For skilled manufacturing those jobs are:

  1. Forklift Drivers
  2. CNC Machine Operators
  3. Welders
  4. Machine Set Up & Maintenance
  5. Quality Control

The quarterly QPS survey, conducted in June of 2014, was issued to 263 local companies throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. The average company size reported was 115 employees. Results were not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

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