The annual Enterprise Minnesota State of Manufacturing survey found a majority of manufacturers are expecting economic growth, the first time since 2010 according to the Star Tribune. From 2010 through 2016, manufacturers in the state predicted a flat economy, but 2017 is proving to be a time of optimism.
55 percent of those surveyed expected an increase in revenue this year, up 11 percentage points from last year’s survey, and 44 percent expect an increase in profits, up seven percentage points. Overall, 94 percent of manufacturers indicated confidence in the future of their company.
This optimism comes in spite of the fact that a majority of manufacturers are still struggling to find talented employees for job openings. 68 percent of respondents cited difficulty in attracting the right people.
“Everyone is really competing for workers on a community basis, not just an industry basis,” said Robert Kill, CEO of Enterprise Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.
Kill noted that the difficulty in attracting potential employees has resulted in manufacturers working closer with technical colleges to attract graduates. This goes beyond just showing up at job fairs.
“Manufacturers realize they have to have a tighter relationship all the time,” Kill told the Star Tribune. “They can’t just show up in May and expect to get kids. They better be at the head of the line.”