Survey: 48% of U.S. manufacturers list unqualified workers as largest barrier to growth

Prime Advantage, a Chicago–based group purchasing organization serving mid-size manufacturers, recently released the 15th edition of its annual Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey.

For the survey, Prime Advantage polled more than 750 manufacturers in the U.S. with annual revenues ranging between $10 million and $10 billion. Seventy-five supply chain professionals also participated in the survey, representing U.S.-based manufacturing in more than 25 different industries, including packaging and material handling. Survey data were collected in July and August 2016.

Here are four findings to know.

  1. According to the survey, 97 percent of manufacturers projected revenues to increase or stay the same in the next 12 months.
  1. Eighty-nine percent of manufacturers expected their headcount to grow or remain the same through the end of the year.
  1. A lack of qualified workers represented the largest external barrier to business growth for the third year in a row, with 48 percent of survey respondents listing this as their main concern.
  1. A majority (95 percent) of respondents designated raw materials pricing as one of their top three largest cost pressures, followed by logistics and transportation (61 percent) and component parts (53 percent).

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