The biggest change was after the recession. When manufacturers got back on their feet, they invested in automation and technology. When laid off workers were looking to come back to the sector, they did not have the skills for the changed job descriptions that demanded much more than pre-recession requirements.
Global MFG - Apr 2, 2019
How Manufacturers are Tackling the Skills GapAdrienne Selko | IndustryWeek
Manufacturing executives have been losing sleep over the worker shortage for a few years. The situation only continues to accelerate, however. Today, the worker deficit has begun hitting companies squarely in the bottom line --during the first quarter of 2019 more than 25% manufacturers had to turn down new business opportunities due to a lack of workers, according to a report from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).