Why manufacturing could be a huge industry for Gen Z workers

The manufacturing industry is poised to expand less quickly than previously thought, according to a report from Staffing Industry Analysts in September. According to a recent article, the organization “lowered its forecast for the U.S. industrial staffing segment to 1% expansion in 2019, down from the 4% growth rate projected in April, which implies a market size of $35.3 billion.” Interestingly, there are a few key factors for the slowdown, including trade tensions with China and sluggish job gains in the industry based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In fact, over the past six months for durable goods manufacturing industries, “jobs were up in computer and electronic products manufacturing (+15,000), but down in manufacturers of machinery (-5,000), primary metals (-4,000), furniture (-3,000) and wood products (-2,000),” according to the article. Additionally, “among nondurable manufacturers, jobs were up for plastics and rubber (+6,000), but down for printing (-3,000) and petroleum and coal products (-3,000).”

That said, there is good news for part of the industry, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. “The slowdown in manufacturing is a headwind for industrial temporary staffing, as manufacturing clients have accounted for as much as 40% of industrial staffing revenue in some recent years,” according to the article. Based on the news that the industry as a whole is expected to contract in the coming months and years, it’s important to analyze how to attract Gen Z (defined as those born between 1995 and 2010) to the manufacturing field. According to a Global Mobility Solutions blog, there will actually be an influx of open roles in the industry thanks to a growing wave of retirements.

Notably, Gen Z will have more opportunities to take jobs in the manufacturing industry thanks to an increase of roles as a result of technological advancements. “Industries such as finance and technology grow with use of technology. As a result, the types of jobs in these industries now offer a greater degree of flexibility, variety, and growth trajectories,” according to Global Mobility Solutions.

Additionally, the article states that the manufacturing industry is poised for growth thanks to numerous “enhancements” affecting the field. These include:

1. The Internet of Things (IOT), which is described as “objects that are connected to the Internet and talk to each other”

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is defined as “computer science applications that strive to develop machine intelligence”

3. Nanotechnology, which refers to “applications focusing on the use of small things such as atoms and molecules”

4. Biotechnology, which means “technological innovations focusing on cellular processes”

5. Robotics, which is defined as “the study of machines created to work, either by themselves or with human assistance”

With the industry expected to grow due to new technologies, it’s also important for companies within the field to get the word out to potential Gen Z employees. They can do this through drumming up interest at schools and universities and discussing relocation packages and benefits with Gen Z applicants.

In conclusion, while some aspects of the manufacturing industry is seeing a slowdown in jobs, there’s reason to believe there could be a great deal of opportunity for Gen Z in the future, thanks to numerous technologies greatly shaping the field.