Is there a talent shortage in manufacturing, or simply a salary shortage?

As the economy recovers, manufacturing and engineering companies report having a difficult time hiring qualified workers for open positions. Many attribute this to a skills gap, arguing that there simply are not enough trained employees out there who are willing to do the necessary work. But one recent article on Manufacturing.net argues that the reason for this difficulty is much simpler: It all comes down to money.

Manufacturing.net editor Chris Fox writes that many employers may simply not be offering salaries high enough to attract qualified employees. He cites a New York Times report, which argued that the fundamentals of the economy suggest that a skills shortage is not the issue. If it were, employers would have been forced to raise the salaries they offered to entice those employees who do have the necessary skills.

In addition, even if there really is a skills gap, employers still have a reason to increase salaries.

"Reshoring initiatives have done a lot of good to bring regional manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., but those companies still have to compete (even if their competition still pays pennies for labor)," Fox wrote. "Many manufacturing workers of old were happy to work at wages upwards of $20 to $25 an hour, or more—fitting pay for a hard day's work. Incoming workers, educated or not, can easily use the internet to give them insight into their predecessor's pay."

These salary demands will affect CNC machine services as much as they will affect the rest of the manufacturing sector. If states want to continue to see their industries grow, they will have to approve policies that will help cut manufacturer's costs elsewhere to mitigate the effect.