Crisis in Manufacturing — Blue Collar Workers Shifting Careers

The pandemic’s beginning saw people laid off in droves. Many were brought back and many white collar workers were given permission to work from home. Some — instead of going back to their employer — moved on.

They’re still moving on says a study from the Oliver Wyman Forum.

And now — the forum report says —  blue collar workers are wanting the same kind of flexibility as their white collar friends.

“Despite being front and center during the spread of Covid-19, the well-being of blue-collar workers took a back seat,” the report said. “Most clocked hours in person — putting themselves and their loved ones at risk — while they watched their white-collar counterparts migrate to comfortable and safe remote setups, with their jobs and pay protected.”

What blue collar businesses can’t do is match the scale of flexibility that white collar jobs offer. Small steps are working but not as well. So blue collar businesses are struggling to fill the vacant jobs of workers who’ve moved on.

The Federal Reserve says manufacturing companies are way short of being full staffed “Applicants are trickling in,” one company said. “Not fast enough to satisfy current demand.”

Economists say blue collar businesses are behind the eight-ball in pay, in child care facility offerings and early retirement benefits. So a lot of their workers are rethinking their careers and are trying to move into the white collar community and into something with more benefits and flexibility.

Researcher and economist  said there was a huge migration of blue collar workers out of manufacturing and construction businesses in 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau said in the three months from September to November of last year, somewhere between 6.5% and 8.4% of blue collar workers from construction, transportation and production changed jobs and went into white collar professions.

The Oliver Wyman Forum study says most of those job changers went into IT industries. That includes cyber security and sales. Most said they quit their blue collar jobs because they wanted more flexible hours and better benefits.

That is leading manufacturing, construction and other industries to rethink salaries, benefits, etc. Time will tell if they are successful or not.

Source link: Insurance Journal


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