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89% of Small Manufacturers Can't Fill Job Openings Houston Textile Co.

89% of Small Manufacturers Can't Fill Job Openings

In 2018, small manufacturers generated 11.6% of the U.S. economic output and employed 8.5% of the workforce, but 89% can't find employees.

An overwhelming majority (98.6%) of American manufacturing companies are small businesses, and 75.3% of those businesses have fewer than 20 employees, according to new data released on May 23 by SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses.

Last year,  small manufacturing businesses generated 11.6% of the U.S. economic output and employed 8.5% of the U.S. workforce, but 89% of manufacturers report that they cannot fill all job openings  The reasons given for not filling the positions were:

  • Shifting skill sets due to advancing technologies;
  • Misperceptions of manufacturing jobs;
  • Retirement of baby boomers.

"Manufacturing businesses drive the U.S. economy," said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. "They might be factories or bakeries, and they might utilize machine power or hand-make their products, but what they have in common is that the vast majority of manufacturers are small business owners."

Looking at the product categories the survey found that small companies comprise these percentages of total employment for the following products:

  • 22.9% of apparel
  • 18.4% of furniture and related products
  • 16.4% of fabricated metal products
  • 15.2% of wood products
  • 11.5% of beverage and tobacco products
  • 8.6% of machinery
  • 6.3% of food
  • 5.6% of electrical equipment, appliances and components
  • 5.3% of plastics and rubber products
  • 5.1% of computers and electronic products
  • 2.8% of paper
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