Manufacturing Hiring Demand Increases - But For Which Jobs?

July's Employment Situation Summary from the BLS announced that the manufacturing sector added 25,000 new jobs in July, marking the tenth straight month of job growth. Jobs in manufacturing have been watched closely as many see this as an indicator of overall economic health. With growing jobs, we wanted to look at what jobs are in demand and any other trends in talent supply.

Last month, there were more than 188,000 jobs advertised online by manufacturers in the US. Overall, hiring during 2012 so far has in fact been strong and has been higher than pre-recession times.

Hiring Demand in Manufacturing Sector - 4 Year Hiring Trend

Hiring Demand in Manufacturing Sector
Source: WANTED Analytics

Below are the 10 types of manufacturing industries that saw the most available job ads. Pharmaceutical manufacturing led this sector with more than 13,000 jobs being advertised online in July. We also see 2 computer manufacturing industries in the below list. With the increased access to computer and technology, this is somewhat expected. Does the volume of hiring in any of these industries surprise you?

Manufacturing Industries with the Most Online Job Ads - July 2012 vs. 2011

Manufacturing industries with the most job ads in July
Source: WANTED Analytics

So what jobs are most in demand? Before looking at hiring demand by individual field, we assumed that engineering and production jobs would have the most job ads. However, we were surprised to see that technical fields were most in-demand, with a combined 34,000 jobs in July. Overall, manufacturers increased their demand for technical occupations by more than 13% over the past year. Rounding out the top 5 occupational fields were engineering, management, production, and sales related jobs. Also interesting is that of the production related occupations, Managers and Supervisors are most commonly recruited - not as many technicians or production workers.

The most commonly advertised unique job titles are listed below. Anything here surprise you?

  1. Sales Representative
  2. Merchandiser
  3. Production Supervisor
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Manufacturing Engineer
  6. Customer Service Representative
  7. Administrative Assistant
  8. Quality Engineer
  9. Maintenance Technician
  10. Sales Manager
Another surprise to us was where the jobs were located. We assumed we would see high ad volumes around the Great Lakes, with Detroit, Minneapolis, and Cleveland areas being located around there. However, the New York metro area actually leads the US in manufacturing hiring demand. More than 9,000 jobs were advertised in the NY area in July. Los Angeles and San Jose saw the second and third highest demands. Are companies moving jobs to other areas of the US? Or are the technical jobs moving east and west to New York and Silicon Valley tech hubs?

Heat Map of Ad Volume in the Manufacturing Industry

Heat Map of Ad Volume in the Manufacturing Industry
Source: WANTED Analytics

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