The Manufacturing Comeback: BLS Says the Industry is Peaking Again After 3 Decades 

The Manufacturing Comeback: BLS Says the Industry is Peaking Again After 3 Decades 

In light of ongoing transformations in technology and the economy, various industries have experienced notable shifts. Manufacturing, in particular, stands out as a sector undergoing a revival, as indicated by experts. After a prolonged decline spanning several decades, manufacturing is now staging a comeback.

But what does this manufacturing news of resurgence mean for your company? Discover the impact and what you can do to prepare through this article.


The Truth in Numbers 

Even if people are still skeptical about the resurgence of American manufacturing, examining available data can quickly reveal the truth. Today’s US employment in manufacturing has surpassed the peak set during the preceding business cycle. Looking back using historical data, the last time this happened was in the late 1970s.

Comparing statistical information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the first month of this year versus the ninth month can also prove the mentioned comeback.

Based on last year’s data, the total number of paid jobs in the manufacturing industry has continued its upward trend. As of January, there were 19,000 more employed individuals in manufacturing roles compared to the year 2022.¹

Read More: Manufacturing Job Outlook 2022 

In just eight months, the manufacturing industry has already seen a notable increase of 17,000 newly hired professionals.² This continuous rise highlights the consistent availability of opportunities in the job market.

Another compelling indicator of the industry’s resurgence is the pool of candidates showing interest in manufacturing roles. At the start of 2023, 399,000 individuals had yet to secure positions with manufacturing organizations. However, by September, that number had risen to 495,000 professionals. This suggests a heightened interest in employment opportunities within the manufacturing sector.

It’s also crucial to recognize that the increase in unemployed individuals doesn’t imply a lack of job openings or positions being filled. Factors such as annual graduations and experienced workers seeking better opportunities also contribute to these numbers.


Implications for Your Organization 

Examining numbers and statistics is an easy way to believe the resurgence of an industry. However, understanding the significance of this resurgence for your organization is essential. Here are the implications this comeback holds for your company and its operational procedures.


Wide Candidate Pool

With over 400,000 professionals looking for work, you’ll have access to a broader candidate pool. As the industry thrives, people with diverse skills, talents, and work experiences will become more available to you.

By leveraging the number of individuals looking to work for your company, you could find qualified individuals who can meet your requirements and professional standards.

Furthermore, having a wide pool of candidates offers a valuable opportunity to enhance diversity within your workforce. This diversity can enrich your teams with various skills, talents, and experiences. It fosters inclusivity, encourages different perspectives, and enhances overall teamwork within your organization.

Read More: How To Foster An Inclusive Working Environment 


Improved Revenue

A manufacturing industry resurgence can typically translate to increased revenue opportunities. In an industry’s comeback, the number of candidates is not the only thing that increases. Usually, it also leads to an increase in demand. In the case of manufacturing, the resurgence means higher demand for manufactured goods.

For example, you operate a light industrial manufacturing company that produces electronic components. When manufacturing experiences a resurgence, there might be a significant increase in demand for your electronic components.

So long as your company can meet these demands, you can experience an increase in your revenue and maybe the growth of your overall business. However, it’s important to note that improved revenue doesn’t happen automatically. It results from meticulous planning and refining of your business processes.


Emerging Roles and Responsibilities

The current manufacturing industry is quite different from previous years. Now, company leaders don’t rely solely on their workforce’s physical labor. They also use different machines and innovative technological tools to improve product quality and employee experience.

Although some machines have taken over repetitive and accuracy-dependent manufacturing jobs, they have also paved the way for introducing emerging roles and responsibilities for manufacturing professionals.

For instance, companies in the previous decades would need a skilled workforce to fit parts of the product together. They might need someone observant and detail oriented. Meanwhile, today’s companies might already have machines that can build products from different parts.

Companies also need to maintain the machines to ensure product quality. From this, roles like “Automation Specialists” and “Machine Operators” emerge.

Read More: 2023 Industry Trends – A Spotlight on the Industries Transformed by AI 


How to Prepare for Manufacturing’s Comeback? 

The manufacturing industry’s resurgence presents a golden opportunity for your manufacturing business to thrive. However, to make the most of this resurgence and effectively address the evolving needs and demands, it’s essential to be well-prepared. Here are three actionable suggestions to ensure your company is equipped for the future of the manufacturing industry.


1. Strategic Workforce Planning

Even though it’s been decades since the manufacturing industry showed signs of growth, this isn’t unfamiliar territory. Your company’s success banks on your ability to anticipate future business needs, just as it does every other year.

Take proactive steps to plan your future workforce strategically. Analyze market trends and available statistics to forecast your organization’s needs and requirements accurately. For instance, consider that a surge in demand for electronics might require additional skilled workers.

In response, develop a comprehensive plan that includes recruitment, training, and retention strategies. This ensures your company always has the right talent in place, regardless of how much your business expands.


2. Improve your Employer Brand

It’s essential to improve your employer branding to attract and hire the best employee from the pool of 400,000 candidates. Remember, your company’s image significantly influences a candidate’s decision when choosing their workplace.

One way to achieve this is by cultivating a positive workplace culture and environment. Invest in your employees’ career development and well-being, showcasing your commitment to their success.

Consider that posting job listings on recruitment platforms isn’t the sole means of attracting candidates. The respect, support, and appreciation you demonstrate to your workforce also play a crucial role in shaping your company’s reputation.

For example, creating a safety culture, providing ongoing training, and acknowledging employee contributions can enhance your employer’s brand. This can significantly appeal to candidates looking for stable and growth-oriented manufacturing jobs.


3. Streamline Recruitment Process

According to a resume expert, a prolonged hiring process can result in candidate frustration and disengagement.³ So, streamlining your recruitment procedure is essential to attract and retain the best talent.

There are various strategies to achieve this goal. First, ensure that your job descriptions and requirements are clear when posting vacancies. This helps avoid receiving applications from unqualified candidates, reducing the time and resources wasted on their evaluation.

Furthermore, eliminate any unnecessary steps in your recruitment process. Consider shortening lengthy surveys and retaining only essential questions. Avoid asking yes-or-no questions that require further elaboration and save them for the interview stage.

Read More: Mastering IT Workflow Optimization with ServiceNow: A Step-by-Step Guide 



You need to have great professionals if you want to meet this manufacturing resurgence head-on, and DAVIS Companies can effectively address your staffing challenges. With over three decades of experience in the industry, we provide tailored professional staffing and recruiting services.

From Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) to Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO), we can help you solve your staffing woes. Allow us to help you ensure successful operations the DAVIS way. Contact us today to learn more!



1 “Economic News Release.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 Feb. 2023,

2 “Economic News Release.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6 Oct. 2023,

3 Tong, Goh C. “Job Interviews Are Getting Longer — Here’s Why It Could Be a Red Flag.” CNBC, 30 Jun. 2023,

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