Before we get to the central thread topic and study, a quick review would probably serve a decent purpose here. There are some pretty huge misconceptions about the Industrial sector, US manufacturing, the state and future of it. Industry 4.0 is upon us: driven by a massive volume of available data, developments in analytics and machine learning, new forms of human-machine interaction and the ability to transmit digital instructions to the physical world. The whole sector is undergoing a reinvention and many of the new jobs will require skilled labor. The importance of a strong manufacturing base is probably understated considering that it indirectly supports millions of other jobs (17.1 million to be exact, according to an EPI release in 2015) and has the highest multiplier of any economic sector: each dollar’s worth of manufactured goods generates around $1.89 in output from other sectors of the economy (per Deloitte). It's also actually very far from "hallowing out", I'll replace and update the FRED data as time moves along. The US Is Beating China On The Factory Floor. This Is Why. How The US Plans To Replace China As The World's Largest Manufacturer Reshoring Initiative Data Report: Manufacturing Reshoring Plus FDI Job Announcements Up 2,800% Since 2010 Now here's the actual problem. Deloitte: Future Of Manufacturing Skills Gap (Study) For more than two centuries, the manufacturing industry has adopted new technologies and provided new jobs for workers. Today, the industry is experiencing exciting and exponential change, as technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and Internet of Things (IoT) are rapidly changing the workplace. While some predicted that these new technologies would eliminate jobs, we have found the reverse—more jobs are actually being created. In fact, job openings have been growing at double-digit rates since mid-2017, and are nearing the historical peak recorded in 2001. In this dynamic manufacturing environment, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute launched their fourth skills gap study to reevaluate their prior projections and move the conversation forward on today’s hiring environment and the future of manufacturing work. The results appear to highlight a widening gap between the jobs that need to be filled and the skilled talent pool capable of filling them. The study reveals that the skills gap may leave an estimated 2.4 million positions unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion. Further, the study shows that the positions relating to digital talent, skilled production, and operational managers may be three times as difficult to fill in the next three years.