Staying Power II is a follow-up study to our original report on Massachusetts’ manufacturing sector conducted back in 2007. As with the first report, our research found that the manufacturing sector is more robust and resilient than is commonly perceived. Productivity continues to increase at a rate much faster than the rest of the economy and for the first time in decades, manufacturing output is actually growing as a share of total state product. Manufacturing remains the sixth largest sector of the state’s economy in terms of employment, yet because of its relatively high average wage, only trails the state’s health care sector in terms of the value of total 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 because of projected retirements within the ranks of the current workforce.
The sector faces a number of challenges, particularly the ability of firms to recruit skilled workers. We need to do more to improve training in order to provide a sufficient workforce for the current and future needs of manufacturing. The state can also improve its ability to make many of its economic development programs such as investment tax credits and workforce training grants to small and medium-sized firms. The Commonwealth’s Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative established by Governor Patrick after the release of the first Staying Power report has engaged hundreds of industry leaders along with government and nonprofit leaders to address the most important challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
For more information, go to Manufacturing Report Cards.