Workforce Trends of 2021 Impacting Manufacturing Site Selection
by Allison Boden, on Aug 24, 2021 9:52:32 AM
To help our clients be certain that they can meet their hiring needs, Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory and economic incentives firm, routinely evaluates and monitors talent trends in the manufacturing sector. This type of workforce intelligence is essential, whether a company is hiring 200 or 2,000 employees. Assessing a community’s pool of available production workers is as critical as ever in identifying the optimal location for new site selection projects.
Production workforce growth occurring throughout the country
Looking forward to the next five years, the data suggest geographic diversity in growth for production occupations, with several metros in the West and Midwest seeing high growth, suggesting healthy manufacturing growth across the nation.
Top 20 metro areas for production occupation growth 2020-2025
|Metro Area||2020-2025 Projected Occupation Growth|
|Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA||15.90%|
|St. George, UT||14.20%|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||14.00%|
|Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL||11.60%|
|Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL||11.30%|
|Naples-Marco Island, FL||11.10%|
|Jefferson City, MO||10.10%|
|Fort Polk South, LA||6.30%|
Overall increase in job posting activity
Job postings data reveal insights into demand for labor within production occupations. Site Selection Group utilizes online job postings data via EMSI and CareerBuilder to evaluate labor demand conditions within the manufacturing sector. The table below shows the top 20 markets with the greatest change in demand for production workers over the past year.
Top 20 metro areas with highest increase in production occupation job postings
|Metro Area||Avg. Unique Postings (July 2019 - June 2020)||Avg. Unique Postings (July 2020 - June 2021)||One Year Change|
|Johnson City, TN||158||260||64.02%|
|Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA||366||588||60.50%|
|Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ||101||156||55.22%|
|St. Joseph, MO-KS||161||241||49.69%|
Northeast experiencing higher posting intensity
Posting intensity, that is, the average number of times the same job will appear on different job boards, is another way to measure demand for labor. In short, if companies place their job postings on, for example, 10 boards instead of five, it indicates they are working harder to find talent — one sign of a tightening labor market. The table below shows the top 20 markets that experienced an uptick in job posting intensity over the past year. Increases in posting intensity are geographically diverse, but half of the top 20 are in New York state.
Top 20 metro areas with highest increase in job posting intensity for production occupations
|Metro Area||Avg. Posting Intensity (July 2019 - June 2020)||Avg. Posting Intensity (July 2020 – June 2021)||One Year Change|
|Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, SC||3.13||5.7||82.01%|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||4.37||6.36||45.49%|
|San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA||4.09||5.91||44.39%|
|Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL||2.99||4.31||44.36%|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||4.46||6.2||38.87%|
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ||4.19||5.8||38.31%|
|Fond du Lac, WI||3.92||5.41||38.01%|
While the information above provides useful insight into real-time labor market conditions, it is only one part of establishing a holistic assessment of a labor market. Site Selection Group works with its clients to develop a balanced analysis utilizing data from many diverse sources to identify the optimal labor market for production facilities from a macro perspective and to avoid the risk of locating in a sub-optimal market.
Sources: EMSI/CareerBuilder. Average monthly postings and average posting intensity (i.e. total online postings of one particular job) for Production Occupations. List filtered to include only those metro areas with at least 100 average job postings in the time frames analyzed to prevent small market outliers.