SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the
Recession—Manufacturing Industry
April 4, 2012
The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Introduction
Key Findings
Organizations’ Financial Health
Hiring
Recruiting Challenges
Demographics
Methodology
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Introduction
 Overall results have been released in three different topic areas:
 Recruiting and skill gaps. (Released November 7, 2011)
 Overall financial health and hiring. (Released November 22, 2011)
 Global competition and hiring strategies. (Released December 14, 2011)
 Industry-specific results are reported separately for each of the eight industries
included in the sample. These findings cover the results for the manufacturing
industry. The following industries were also included in the sample:
 Construction, mining, oil and gas. (Released March 9, 2012)
 Federal government.
 Finance.
 Health.
 State and local government.
 Services—professional.
 High-tech.
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Key Findings: Organizational Financial Health
Manufacturing Industry
 What percentage of staff have organizations laid off since the U.S. and global
recession began in December 2007? Overall, the majority (66%) of respondents
from the manufacturing industry indicated they had lost 10% of employees or less in
2011, whereas in 2010, 43% of these organizations reported losing less than 10% of
employees.
 How does organizations’ financial health compare to 12 months ago? The
manufacturing industry reported improved organizational financial health
compared with a year ago. The percentage of manufacturing organizations that
were in a significant recovery increased from 6% in 2010 to 19% in 2011.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Key Findings: Hiring
Manufacturing Industry
 Are organizations currently hiring? Three-quarters (75%) of respondents from the
manufacturing industry are currently hiring, which is an increase from 51% in 2010.
 Are organizations creating new positions or replacing jobs lost? In 2011, more than
half (54%) of organizations in the manufacturing industry are hiring direct
replacements of jobs lost since the recession began, an increase of 12 percentage
points compared with 2010 (42%). Fewer organizations are hiring for completely
new positions in 2011 (32%) than they were in 2010 (48%).
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Key Findings: Recruiting Challenges
Manufacturing Industry
 Is recruiting for specific jobs difficult in the current labor market? Among
organizations that are currently hiring full-time staff, more than two-thirds (68%) of
respondents from the manufacturing industry indicated that their organizations are
having a difficult time recruiting for specific open jobs. When recruiting for jobs that
require new and different skill sets in the manufacturing industry, more
organizations are finding it difficult to find qualified individuals for these positions in
2011 (72%) compared with 2010 (43%).
 What types of jobs are the most difficult to fill? The top five most difficult positions
to fill for the manufacturing industry are high-skilled technical positions (e.g.,
technicians and programmers) (89%), engineers (88%), skilled trades (e.g.,
electricians, carpenters) (83%), managers and executives (80%), and sales
representatives (74%).
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Organizations’ Financial Health
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Thus far, what percentage of full-time jobs have been lost at your
organization since the U.S. and global recession began in December
2007? Manufacturing Industry
2011 (n = 357)
21%
Not applicable—did not lay off any staff
2010 (n = 341)
66%
25%
1% to 5% of staff
20%
6% to 10% of staff
66%
10% or less (2011 data)
*Less than 10% (2010 data)
43%
17%
11% to 20% of staff (2011 data)
* 10% to 20% (2010 data)
32%
14%
21% to 50% of staff
More than 50% of staff
22%
2%
3%
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. An asterisk (*) indicates 2010 data had different categories than 2011 data: “Less than 10% of staff”
and “10% to 20% of staff.”
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Thus far, what percentage of full-time jobs have been lost at your
organization since the U.S. and global recession began in December
2007? Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The federal government and the finance industry are more likely to have had no layoffs compared with the construction, mining, oil
and gas; manufacturing; state and local government; professional services; and high-tech industries.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (20%)
Federal government (46%)
Finance (45%)
…are more likely to
Manufacturing (21%)
have had NO layoffs
State and local government (31%)
than...
Services—professional (30%)
High-tech (29%)
The construction, mining, oil and gas industry is more likely to have lost more than 50% of staff compared with the federal
government, finance, manufacturing and professional services industries.
…is more likely to
Construction, mining, oil and gas (10%)
have lost more than 50% of staff
than...
Federal government (1%)
Finance (0%)
Manufacturing (2%)
Services—professional (2%)
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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In relation to the U.S. and global recession, would you say your
organization's overall financial health is declining or recovering
compared with 12 months ago?
Manufacturing Industry
In a significant recovery
19%
2010 (n = 339)
6%
40%
In a mild recovery
53%
17%
No change compared with 12 months ago
22%
19%
In a mild decline
In a significant decline
2011 (n = 359)
14%
4%
5%
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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In relation to the U.S. and global recession, would you say your
organization's overall financial health is declining or recovering
compared with 12 months ago?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The construction, mining, oil and gas; finance; manufacturing; professional services; and high-tech industries are more likely to be in
a significant recovery compared with the federal government and state and local governments.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (9%)
Finance (11%)
…are more likely to
Manufacturing (19%)
be in a significant recovery
Services—professional (11%)
than...
Federal government (2%)
State and local government (1%)
High-tech (14%)
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Hiring
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Is your organization currently hiring full-time staff?
Manufacturing Industry
75%
Yes
51%
2011 (n = 360)
2010 (n = 335)
25%
No
49%
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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At what level(s) is your organization hiring?
Manufacturing Industry
Nonmanagement hourly employees
85%
Nonmanagement salaried employees
64%
Other management (e.g., directors, managers)
Executive/upper management (e.g., CEO, CFO)
54%
20%
Note: n = 268. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options. Only respondents whose organizations were currently hiring full-time staff
were asked this question.
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At what level(s) is your organization hiring?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The health industry is more likely to be hiring executive/upper management employees compared with the construction, mining,
oil and gas; finance; manufacturing; professional services; and high-tech industries.
…is more likely to
Health (40%)
be hiring executive/upper
management staff
than...
Construction, mining, oil and gas (15%)
Finance (20%)
Manufacturing (20%)
Services—professional (19%)
High-tech (16%)
The high-tech industry is more likely to be hiring nonmanagement salaried employees compared with the construction, mining, oil
and gas; federal government; finance; health; manufacturing; state and local government; and professional services industries.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (70%)
…is more likely to
High-tech (91%)
be hiring nonmanagement salaried
employees
than...
Federal government (73%)
Finance (68%)
Health (60%)
Manufacturing (64%)
State and local government (66%)
Services—professional (79%)
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At what level(s) is your organization hiring? (continued)
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The finance, health, manufacturing, and state and local government industries are more likely to be hiring nonmanagement hourly
employees compared with the federal government, professional services and high-tech industries.
Finance (77%)
…are more likely to
Health (90%)
be hiring nonmanagement hourly
Manufacturing (85%)
employees
State and local government (79%)
than...
Federal government (58%)
Services—professional (59%)
High-tech (51%)
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Which of the following best describes, in general, the nature of full-time
positions your organization is currently hiring?
Manufacturing Industry
32%
Completely new positions
48%
New duties added to jobs lost (e.g., due to
layoffs, attrition) since the recession began
14%
10%
2011 (n = 263)
2010 (n = 168)
54%
Direct replacements of jobs lost (e.g., due to
layoffs, attrition) since the recession began
42%
Note: Only respondents whose organizations were currently hiring full-time staff were asked this question.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Which of the following best describes, in general, the nature of full-time
positions your organization is currently hiring?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The state and local governments are more likely to be hiring direct replacements of jobs lost since the recession began compared
with the construction, mining, oil and gas; federal government; finance; manufacturing; professional services; and high-tech
industries.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (49%)
State and local governments (80%)
…are more likely to
Federal government (63%)
be hiring direct replacements of jobs
Finance (60%)
lost since the recession began
Manufacturing (54%)
than...
Services—professional (48%)
High-tech (39%)
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Compared with the skills required for jobs lost since the recession began,
do these completely new positions require any of the following skills?
Manufacturing Industry
Completely new and different skills
14%
A mixture of new skills and the same
types of skills
Approximately the same types of
skills
65%
21%
Note: n = 78. Only respondents whose organizations were hiring full-time staff for “completely new positions” were asked this question.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Recruiting Challenges
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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If the new jobs being created by your organization require new and
different skill sets, how easy do you think it will be—or has been thus
far—to find qualified individuals for those positions?
Manufacturing Industry
3%
2011 (n = 98)
Very easy
13%
2010 (n = 95)
24%
Somewhat easy
44%
63%
Somewhat difficult
40%
9%
Very difficult
3%
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding. This question was asked only of respondents whose organizations were hiring full-time staff for
positions with “new duties added to jobs lost” or “completely new positions” (see slide 17) that required either “a mixture of new skills and the same types of
skills” or “completely new and different skills” (see slide 19).
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In general, in the current labor market, is your organization having a
difficult time recruiting for specific jobs that are open in your
organization?
Manufacturing Industry
No, 32%
Yes, 68%
Note: n = 253. Respondents who answered “Don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents whose organizations were currently hiring fulltime staff were asked this question.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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In general, in the current labor market, is your organization having a
difficult time recruiting for specific jobs that are open in your
organization?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The manufacturing and high-tech industries are more likely to be having a difficult time recruiting for specific jobs compared with
the construction, mining, oil and gas; federal government; finance; and state and local government industries.
…are more likely to
Manufacturing (68%)
High-tech (71%)
be having a difficult time recruiting
for specific jobs that are open in their
organization
than...
Construction, mining, oil and gas (51%)
Federal government (31%)
Finance (49%)
State and local government (33%)
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Do you believe that your organization is facing global competition (i.e.,
competition from other countries) for jobs that your organization is
having difficulty filling?
Manufacturing Industry
Yes, 27%
No, 73%
Note: n = 148. Respondents who answered “Don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents whose organizations were having a difficult
time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Do you believe that your organization is facing global competition (i.e.,
competition from other countries) for jobs that your organization is
having difficulty filling?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The construction, mining, oil and gas; manufacturing; and high-tech industries are more likely to believe that their organization is
facing global competition compared with the finance and state and local government industries.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (34%)
Manufacturing (27%)
High-tech (42%)
…are more likely to
believe that their organization is
Finance (8%)
facing global competition
State and local government (4%)
than...
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Has your organization hired any workers from outside the U.S. in an
attempt to fill key jobs that have been difficult to fill?
Manufacturing Industry
75%
20%
4%
Yes
No
No, but we are
considering it
1%
No, but we have plans
to do so in the next 12
months
Note: n = 166. Respondents who answered “Don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents whose organizations were having a difficult
time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question.
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Has your organization hired any workers from outside the U.S. in an
attempt to fill key jobs that have been difficult to fill?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The high-tech industry is more likely to have hired workers from outside the U.S. in an attempt to fill hard-to-fill jobs compared
with the federal government, finance, manufacturing, state and local government, and professional services industries.
Federal government (16%)
High-tech (50%)
…is more likely to
Finance (5%)
have hired workers from outside the U.S.
Manufacturing (20%)
than...
State and local government (11%)
Services—professional (26%)
The health, manufacturing and professional services industries are more likely to have hired workers from outside the U.S. in an
attempt to fill hard-to-fill jobs compared with the finance industry.
Health (24%)
…are more likely to
Manufacturing (20%)
have hired workers from outside the U.S.
Services—professional (26%)
than...
Finance (5%)
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Has your organization hired any U.S. veterans in an attempt to fill key
jobs that have been difficult to fill?
Manufacturing Industry
44%
34%
18%
4%
Yes
No
No, but we are
considering it
No, but we have plans
to do so in the next 12
months
Note: n = 146. Respondents who answered “Don’t know” were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents whose organizations were having a difficult
time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Has your organization hired any U.S. veterans in an attempt to fill key
jobs that have been difficult to fill?
Manufacturing Industry
Comparisons by industry
The federal government is more likely to have hired U.S. veterans in an attempt to recruit for hard-to-fill jobs compared with the
construction, mining, oil and gas; finance; health; manufacturing; state and local government; professional services; and high-tech
industries.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (50%)
Finance (13%)
Federal government (94%)
…is more likely to
Health (44%)
have hired U.S. veterans
Manufacturing (44%)
than...
State and local government (37%)
Services—professional (35%)
High-tech (34%)
The construction, mining, oil and gas; health; manufacturing; state and local government; professional services; and high-tech
industries are more likely to have hired U.S. veterans in an attempt to fill hard-to-fill jobs compared with the finance industry.
Construction, mining, oil and gas (50%)
Health (44%)
Manufacturing (44%)
State and local government (37%)
Services—professional (35%)
…are more likely to
have hired U.S. veterans
Finance (13%)
than...
High-tech (34%)
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In general, what basic knowledge skill gaps do job applicants have in
your industry?
Manufacturing Industry
Mathematics (computation)
60%
Writing in English (grammar, spelling, etc.)
40%
Reading comprehension (in English)
40%
English language (spoken)
31%
Science
19%
Technical (computer, engineering, mechanical, etc.)
10%
Foreign languages
Government/economics
9%
2%
Humanities/arts
1%
History/geography
1%
Other
8%
Note: n = 140. Percentages do not total 100% because respondents were able to select multiple response options. Only respondents whose organizations
were having a difficult time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question.
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In general, what applied skill gaps do job applicants have in your
industry?
Manufacturing Industry
Critical thinking/problem solving
59%
Teamwork/collaboration
45%
Leadership
42%
Written communications
39%
Professionalism/work ethic
39%
Oral communications
33%
Creativity/innovation
30%
Information technology application
26%
Lifelong learning/self-direction
25%
Ethics/social responsibility
23%
Diversity
Other
15%
7%
Note: n = 155. Percentages do not total 100% because respondents were able to select multiple response options. Only respondents whose organizations
were having a difficult time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question.
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Specific Job Categories Organizations Having Difficulty Recruiting
Manufacturing Industry
High-skilled technical (e.g., technicians, programmers) (n = 102)
89%
Engineers (n = 127)
88%
Skilled trades (e.g., electricians, carpenters) (n = 129)
83%
Managers and executives (n = 126)
80%
Sales representatives (n = 90)
74%
Scientists (n = 28)
72%
HR professionals (n = 73)
64%
Production operators (n = 140)
56%
Accounting and finance professionals (n = 97)
50%
Hourly laborers (n = 139)
39%
Drivers (n = 37)
38%
Customer service representatives (n = 87)
Administrative support staff (n = 113)
28%
17%
Note: Chart represents “somewhat difficult” and “very difficult” responses. “Not applicable” responses were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents
whose organizations were having a difficult time recruiting for certain types of jobs were asked this question. No statistics are provided where the n is less than
15; therefore, the job category of “high-skilled medical” (n = 7) was excluded from this analysis.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Demographics
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Demographics: Organization Sector
Manufacturing Industry
Publicly owned for-profit
34%
Privately owned for-profit
Nonprofit
Government
Other
63%
1%
0%
1%
Note: n = 348. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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Demographics: Organization Staff Size
Manufacturing Industry
1 to 99 employees
20%
100 to 499 employees
30%
500 to 2,499 employees
27%
2,500 to 24,999 employees
25,000 or more employees
18%
5%
n = 343
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Demographics: Other
Manufacturing Industry
Does your organization have U.S.based operations (business units) only
or does it operate multinationally?
U.S.-based operations only
49%
Multinational operations
51%
n = 344
Single-unit company: A company in which
the location and the company are one
and the same.
30%
Multi-unit company: A company that has
more than one location.
70%
n = 351
HR department/function for which
you responded throughout this survey
Corporate (company wide)
49%
Business unit/division
21%
Facility/location
30%
n = 266
Is your organization a single-unit company or a
multi-unit company?
Are HR policies and practices determined by the
multi-unit corporate headquarters, by each work
location or both?
Multi-unit headquarters determines HR policies
and practices
32%
Each work location determines HR policies and
practices
7%
A combination of both the work location and the
multi-unit headquarters determine HR policies
and practices
61%
n = 265
SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession—Manufacturing Industry ©SHRM 2012
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SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of the Recession:
Manufacturing Industry
Methodology
 Response rate = 13%
 Sample composed of 360 randomly selected HR professionals from the
manufacturing industry in SHRM’s membership
 Margin of error +/-5%
 Survey fielded August 18-September 2, 2011
For more poll findings, visit www.shrm.org/surveys
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SHRM_Research
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