Hiring Workers for Manufacturing Jobs Isn’t All That Hard

FRED has some new data. Isn’t that exciting? They now have several new series from DHI Group that measure how difficult it is for firms to hire people. I was curious about the manufacturing sector, so here’s the data:

As you can see, both average duration of job vacancies and average search intensity to fill jobs was pretty flat through the middle of last year. Average vacancy duration went up a bit in mid-2016 and companies responded by recruiting a little harder. Very quickly, vacancy duration returned to 30 days, roughly the average of the past five years.

What this tells us is that it has gotten a little harder to find people in the manufacturing sector over the past couple of years, and companies have had to work a little harder to fill their positions. But only a little.

However, if you look at this over a longer timeframe, what you see is that over the past five years, vacancy duration has been consistently higher than it was during the aughts, but recruiting intensity has been consistently lower. What this suggests is that for the past five years manufacturing companies have been deliberately leaving vacancies open longer than they used to. If lack of qualified workers was really a problem, they would have recruited harder. But until very recently, they didn’t.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate