Tag Archives: manufacturing

Where Are the Skilled Workers? — Part 4

New data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you find available talent with solid transferable skills. What does the report tell us?

Highlights of the Occupational Projections

The occupational projections cover 818 different occupational titles. If you are seeking talent to fill open positions, you should be interested in two pieces of information about these occupations—growth (or decline) and replacement needs.

Occupational Growth

Fast-growing occupations face stiff competition for talent. On the other hand, declining occupations may be a source of skilled workers with transferable skills.

Replacement Needs

Replacement data reflect the need to fill positions due to employee turnover, when a worker changes occupations or leaves the workforce. High replacement numbers tend to ease the effect of occupational decline. For example, postal service mail carriers is the occupation with the second highest decline, 79,200 jobs. However, the need for 102,700 replacement workers makes it an occupation for which we can expect to see continued recruitment.

Job Title SOC Code Decline, 2012–2022 (Thousands) Replacement Needs, 2012–2022 (Thousands)
Sewing machine operators 51-6031 -41.7 7.7
Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers 11-9013 -179.9 150.2
Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators 43-5053 -38.6 9.4
Data entry keyers 43-9021 -54.2 26.3
Word processors and typists 43-9022 -26.2 3.7
Postal service clerks 43-5051 -21.3 10.2
Computer operators 43-9011 -12.7 7.2
Door-to-door sales workers, news and street vendors, and related workers 41-9091 -14.2 9.3
Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic 51-4072 -19.2 15.1
Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders 51-6063 -5.4 3.5
Fallers 45-4021 -2.9 1
Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders 51-6062 -4.2 2.5
Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders 51-6064 -5.6 4.4
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 43-4181 -19.5 18.5
Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders 51-6061 -2.7 1.8

Key Strategies for Talent Acquisition

If you are having difficulty finding workers with the exact skill set that you need, you should consider recruiting workers who are leaving declining occupations. Some of them are good candidates because they have experience in your industry. Others have both the “soft skills” that you are seeking and the aptitude to learn the job.

The down side to this strategy is that the biggest declines in job numbers tend to be concentrated in relatively low-tech functions in just a few job families. So you will not find a large variety of these workers, and you will have to teach them the technical side of your business.

Here is a table that shows recruiting needs that are most likely to be filled by this strategy.

Recruiting Need


Health Care Occupations are among those with the most projected job growth.
Recruit from declining occupations for which customer service skills are common. Examples include door-to-door sales workers, ticket agents, and travel clerks.
There are large numbers of job openings projected for accounting and secretarial jobs—particularly medical secretaries.
Try recruiting from declining occupations for which data management skills are important. Examples include any of the six entries on the declining occupations table (above) whose SOC code starts with the “43” prefix.
Due to the aging of the workforce in the skilled trades, there is a significant need for replacement workers.
You might have success with workers from any of the “hands-on” jobs that are in decline. Examples include farming and production occupations.
According to the Manufacturing Institute, as many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled. The growth is largely in Advanced Manufacturing.
Six of the entries on the declining occupations table (above) are production job titles. Individuals with experience in these jobs already have basic manufacturing industry knowledge. Many of them would be good candidates for Advanced Manufacturing jobs.

If you missed the first three articles in this series, click here to access the other blogs, which include three additional recruiting strategies for businesses.


How Much Does a Job Pay in Rochester, NY?

A recent Fox Business article (http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/11/08/where-are-all-middle-wage-jobs/) raised a concern about growing inequality between people with high-wage jobs and those with low-wage jobs. In Rochester, NY we have lost thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs in recent years. So we too have reason to wonder, “Where are the middle-wage jobs?”

The CareerBuilder & EMSI Occupational Projections report defines a middle (or medium) wage job as one that pays between $13.84 and $21.13 per hour on average.

The good news locally is that many of those middle-wage jobs are right here at home. An analysis of 73 of the top jobs in the Rochester, NY area reveals that 33% of them fall in the middle wage range. In fact Rochester scored far better than the national average on the Gini index, a major measure of income equality.

Rochester, How Are We Doing on International Trade?

The Brookings Institution just released a report on trade among the largest metro areas in North America. The summary, an interesting interactive map, and a link to the full report can be found at http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2013/metro-north-america.

After attending the Manufacturing in the Empire State summit organized by the Coalition for a Prosperous America yesterday, I was very interested in how well the Rochester metro area is doing on international trade.

So how are we doing? Rochester is ranked 39th out of all US metro areas in trade with Canada and Mexico. Our total trade with North America (exports plus imports) is $3,687 million. And 58% of Rochester’s trade with North America is in advanced industries—aerospace, automotive, electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, and precision instruments.

Importantly, what does the report not tell us? It does not tell us Rochester’s balance of trade with North America. In other words, are we a net exporter or importer of goods and services? If we extrapolate from the data given on trade with both countries in the top five commodities, it appears that we have a small trade surplus within North America. Our larger surplus with Canada seems to more than offset our deficit with Mexico.

Here is a summary of the most heavily traded commodities. Rochester’s greatest trade advantage with both countries is in the manufacture of chemicals and plastics. We have a surplus in precision instruments, with all of the advantage from trade with Canada. Our trade surplus with Canada in machinery and tools is more than offset by our deficit with Mexico. Areas of significant disadvantage include energy products (Canada) and electronics (Mexico).

Finally, Rochester’s trade with North America accounts for only 25% of our total trade. And the federal government does not collect data on imports at the metro area level. As far as I am aware, we have no way of measuring our balance of trade with the rest of the world.

Industry Careers Panels—Excellent Information Source for Jobseekers

In March, the RochesterWorks! Career Center held our first in a series of industry careers panels. The event was a great success! We had participation from a broad range of Information Technology (IT) experts. They gave insightful answers to many questions that job seekers have, including the following:

1. What abilities or personal qualities would make someone a good fit for the IT field?
2. What can mature workers do to be competitive in the IT field?
3. How important is it to have a college degree? Is a degree even necessary for someone with work experience?

If you missed the session, you can view a four-part podcast at http://www.rwvcc.org/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewcategory&Itemid=7&cat_id=18.

Our next offering in our careers panel series will focus on Advanced Manufacturing. It is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20, at 9 a.m., at the RochesterWorks! Career Center. RochesterWorks! members may sign up online at http://www.rochesterworks.org/js_workshops_downtown.aspx. Pre-registration is required because seating is limited.

Here is the flyer:  Advanced Manufacturing Careers Panel 6-20-12