VIDEO: The Misconception of Declining Manufacturing Jobs

In this video, Gardner Business Intelligence Chief Economist Michael Guckes discusses the decline of manufacturing jobs and argues that although operators have decreased, programmers and engineers have increased.


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There’s a fear in the manufacturing world that jobs have been declining over the last nearly two decades. According to Gardner Business Intelligence Chief Economist Michael Guckes, between the years 2000 and 2016, machine shop jobs have declined in number. He argues, however, that contrary to the perception pushed by the media, this isn’t a dire situation.

He encourages instead approaching the numbers from a different perspective to realize that the composition of the workforce has transformed. In 2000 the majority of manufacturing employees were machine operators, with a much smaller percentage comprised of CNC programmers and engineers. In the following years, however, the requirements of shops have evolved, with the number of programmers and engineers increasing while operators have dropped. 

The consequence of all this is that the quality of the workforce and productivity overall is on the rise, with machine tool technology making up the difference. Check out the video for a full overview by Mr. Guckes on the misconceptions of a declining manufacturing workforce. For more economic information on durable goods manufacturing, visit Gardner Business Intelligence’s YouTube channel and website