While unemployment numbers remain high, manufacturers can’t fill jobs

Bob Karp | Daily Record Staff Photographer

Bob Karp | Daily Record Staff Photographer

In an article on the need to revitalize U.S. manufacturing, the Morris County (NJ) Daily Record quotes Howard Wial, director of the Center for Urban Economic Development, as saying that the long decline has left some manufacturers unaccustomed to hiring and unsure about how to recruit workers with the updated skills they need.

Last month, as 11.5 million Americans remained unemployed, manufacturing companies looked in vain for people to fill 600,000 jobs. The problem: They can’t find employees who can work their machines.

“The No. 1 point of concern among manufacturers that we visit and assess is the inability to find skilled labor,” said Eric Aerts, Morris area account manager for the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. “There’s a tendency to look down on manufacturing jobs, which is a throwback to a time when a person might stand on a production line and just turn a bolt the same way all day long.”

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