May marked 21 months in a row of growth in manufacturing. We’re seeing an average increase of 12.5 million square feet in factory space, which is very near to the 12.6 million square feet seen before the Great Recession. Vacancy rates for manufacturing facilities are down to 3.8% — less than half the ten-year average.
Manufacturing is on the rise in America. One cause is certainly the decisions to take part in reshoring that have been made over the past few years. The decisions predated the opening of new factories in the states because… that’s how time works. It took years for reshoring to take place once companies saw the upside.
Another cause may be the rise of affordable natural gas in the United States. Many observers, especially those in the energy sector, see this as a significant factor.
Industry 4.0 also gets credit. Increased automation, digitization, and real-time analytics have reduced the need for low-skilled labor in modern manufacturing. Hordes of inexpensive overseas workers are no longer needed, so shorter supply chains in the U.S. increase the benefits of manufacturing near end consumers.
No boom for workers
Between increased automation and the skills gap, manufacturing jobs aren’t increasing the way manufacturing facilities are. Manufacturers are still having trouble finding qualified workers for the increasingly technical jobs involved in modern manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs increased in 2017, but the total number of Americans working in manufacturing is still more than one million less than it was 10 years previously, before the recession.
Lower labor needs may keep costs down and productivity high, though.
If that sounds good for your facility, let us help you keep your machines humming. We’re specialists in Rexroth electric industrial machinery, including legacy components. We offer phone support, field support, and factory repair and reman. Fixing your problem completely and correctly the first time keeps your downtime to a minimum, and that’s the real savings. Call now for immediate assistance.