Labor Trends in US Manufacturing

sign on door reading please be patient we are very understaffed due to labor shortages in us manufacturing

As we mentioned in the Megatrends post, US manufacturers are facing a number of headwinds when it comes to sourcing their labor.  These manufacturers differentiate themselves by employing a skilled labor force to create products.  However, Most US manufacturers are small firms with 75% of them employing 20 people or less.

The competition for skilled labor is only going to increase over the next 10 years as 3.5 million workers will be needed in the sector.   The small manufacturing firms are powerless to push back against the Megatrends.  The workforce is changing as Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce, and more and more people move into cities.

All the external pressure on the workforce creates a difficult environment for a company to grow.  A business will find it challenging to meet demand, implement innovative solutions, and increase productivity during peak demand.  This means the business must get the most utilization out of their skilled labor to just keep up.

Skilled Labor Levers

operations supervisor and warehouse worker sitting at desk discussing terms of full time job offer at distribution center

When charting a strategy, a business has three options to select from:  1) **Do nothing **and maintain the status quo with limited to no growth potential, 2) **Hire skilled labor **and start a price war eroding profit margins or maintain the same rate and likely hire the low quality labor remaining in a tight labor market, or 3) **Increase productivity **with the Veryable on-demand labor marketplace.

The Veryable platform is a new operational tool for businesses to capitalize on growth opportunities by flexing general labor into the workforce without the constraint of a long-term commitment.  To keep skilled people mission focused, the Veryable platform provides an easy option to find general labor.

Recommended Approach


Shifting non-value add work to general labor frees up capacity for skilled labor to focus on their work.  If you take a hard look at a skilled labor person's day, you will find that they spend a good chunk of the day not performing skilled work.  A welder spending 20% of their day welding has the opportunity to increase their welding output 4x by utilizing general labor to prep, clean, and move materials.

Veryable is the on-demand platform to find and flex general labor to better utilize skilled labor.  In a tight labor market, getting more out of the people you have is the most accessible and scalable avenue at hand.

To learn more about operational excellence, click here

Pete Conrad

Written by Pete Conrad