September 13 – The Dukakis Center released our latest report on the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts. Staying Power II is a follow-up study to our first study on the manufacturing sector conducted back in 2007. As with the first report, what our research found is that the manufacturing sector is more robust and resilient that is commonly perceived. Productivity continues to increase at a rate much faster than the rest of the economy. Manufacturing remains the sixth largest sector of the state’s economy and yet represents the second largest sector in terms of size of payroll.
Also, as we uncovered in 2007, we forecast that there will be over 100,000 job openings in the manufacturing sector over the next decade in Massachusetts based on the plans of firms to grow along with projected retirements in the workforce.
And yet we cannot take the positive news for granted. There remain a number of challenges, particularly the ability of firms to recruit skilled craftsmen and other critical positions. We need to do more to improve training in order to provide a sufficient workforce for the current and future needs of manufacturing. The Commonwealth’s Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative has engaged hundreds of industry leaders along with government and nonprofit leaders to address the set of most important challenges and opportunities facing the sector.