The US manufacturing industry may need as many as 3.8 million new employees by 2033, according to a report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. However, more than 1.9 million of these jobs could go unfilled because of the skills gap and lack of applicants.

Manufacturing is also seeing increased demand for digital skills as products and manufacturing processes become more complex, according to the report. For example, it cited a 75% increase in demand for simulation and simulation software skills. In addition, the fastest-growing manufacturing roles include statisticians, data scientists, engineers, and computer and information systems managers.

“Pandemic-driven shifts have already created hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and now we are seeing increased demand for digital skills that need to be met or risk further widening of the talent gap,” Carolyn Lee, president, and executive director at The Manufacturing Institute, said in a press release.

Manufacturers are taking steps to expand their talent pipelines.

“Companies must prioritize technology, training and talent development, and the investments that are driving growth will also require the industry to build out a talent ecosystem,” Lee said.

More than nine in 10 surveyed manufacturers said they are forming at least one partnership to improve job attraction and retention, and on average, they are partnering with four or more. The top five partnership types are technical colleges, 73%; industry associations, 58%; universities, 48%; state and regional economic development agencies, 47%; and K-12 schools, 44%.

The study’s survey also found that 47% of respondents said apprenticeships, work studies, or internships at manufacturing companies would be the most effective way to increase interest in manufacturing as a career choice.

The report is based on an online survey of more than 200 US manufacturers, interviews with senior executives from manufacturing organizations of all sizes and across all sectors, analysis of secondary data on labor supply and demand, and analysis from Deloitte’s economic team.

It’s taking workers longer to find new jobs and fewer new hires are receiving signing bonuses, according to ZipRecruiter’s new Q1 2024 Survey of New Hires. On the other hand, the number of workers receiving counteroffers remains historically high, and more new hires said they were recruited. Another finding: Workers are turning to generative AI in the job search.

The report found the number of new hires who found their job in under a month dropped to 46%, which is down from 60% in the previous quarter’s report.  ZipRecruiter’s report also found that 23% of new hires received signing bonuses, down from 29% in the previous report.

Still, the percentage of new hires saying they received counteroffers from their previous employer rose to 24% in the new report from 21% in the previous report. Also, 46% say they were recruited, up from 34% in the previous report.

And 48% of recent hires say their new employer responded to their application within three days and 92% within about a week.

“When employers proactively recruit talent or respond to applicants quickly, it instills a sense of being valued and sought after, which can be incredibly affirming and gratifying,” Marissa Morrison, VP, of people, at ZipRecruiter, said in a press release.

ZipRecruiter’s survey also looked at AI. It found just over 53% of job seekers said they used ChatGPT or a similar generative AI tool to help them in their job search. Millennials have been the earlier adopters of generative AI tools, with more than 70% saying they used generative AI in their most recent job search.

Of those who used generative AI in their job search, 23% said they used it to draft a résumé, 19% to research career options, 18% to prepare for job interviews, 16% to research pay levels, 14% to complete a pre-hire assessment, 11% to draft correspondence and 5% to create a headshot.

The survey is based on a sample of more than 1,500 adults in the US who are currently employed and who began their current jobs in the past six months. It includes self-employed workers.

The average hourly wage for bachelor’s level interns from the class of 2022-2023 rose to $22.06, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported April 2. The data marks a significant increase from the $17.20 reported for the class of 2013-2014.

“This is proof of the importance of internship programs to employers,” NACE’s president and CEO Shawn VanDerziel said in a press release.

VanDerziel noted that organizations focus on their internship programs for various reasons: to keep their pipeline of talent full, to bolster their diversity recruiting efforts, and to identify and develop future leaders.

“The fact that employers pay these college students wages that account for inflation speaks to the benefits organizations realize from their internship programs,” he said.

Fields of study with the highest average hourly wages for 2023 bachelor’s degree-level interns include computer science at $24.76, engineering at $23.87, and actuarial science majors at $23.86.

Employers offered consistent benefits to interns, including planned social activities and paid holidays.

Additionally, NACE reported that 54.7% of employers provided relocation assistance to interns.

“Among those that provide relocation assistance, more than three-quarters believe it helps them get better applicants, which is one of the main drivers behind offering relocation assistance. Respondents also say that it removes a barrier by taking the burden off students who have to relocate and helps them stay competitive,” VanDerziel said.

Data for NACE’s 2024 Guide to Compensation for Interns & Co-ops were collected from Oct. 31, 2023, to Jan. 5, 2024, with responses from 230 NACE employer members and an additional 53 responses from nonmember companies.

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