Supply-chain jobs are becoming increasingly important as companies are faced with the need to replace workers as the U.S. economy improves.
But, they are also becoming less plentiful.
That’s according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, which tracks the number of available supply-chain positions for each type of job, including those that require experience.
A recent study from the non-profit Economic Policy Institute found that only 8.4 percent of U.K. employers offered some type of training for their supply-chains.
And there’s little indication that those positions will be available for the foreseeable future.
“It’s clear that we’re going to see a reduction in the number and diversity of available positions,” says Lori Daughtrey, the program director at the Economic Policy Center.
“The industry is going to need to be very careful about where it places its efforts.”
The numbers of available U.N. jobs are also not as clear-cut as some might think.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U and U.W. economies have roughly the same number of supply-contingent jobs.
But a 2014 report from Georgetown University found that the number is not the same across the U., U.C.L.A., and UAW states.
In the U, for example, the labor force participation rate was just 47 percent in the last quarter of 2013.
And in the UW, it was just 51 percent.
That suggests that a large number of UAW-backed unions have not invested in training their members for supply-crisis jobs.
For instance, the number for U.D.V.C.-sponsored positions in California has been stuck in the low single digits, says James F. Stuckey, a professor at Georgetown University.
Stockeys research focuses on the UAW and the WGA unions in the supply- chain, but he says the overall number of jobs that could be filled by unionized U.s has been on the decline.
The number of work opportunities for supply workers is expected to decline, too.
The report says the number would increase by more than a third over the next decade, and that there are currently about 4.4 million U. s in the workforce that could use training and support, including more than 500,000 at unionized plants.
That means that, for many U. S. workers, the only way to get their hands on training is by joining a union.
“Unionization is not only a prerequisite for entry-level jobs, but it is also the only feasible pathway for entry to unionized jobs,” says Stuckeys.
And that is a reality that many unions are beginning to grapple with.
For example, UAW President Dennis Williams is hoping to organize workers at several large U.P. companies, including Wal-Mart, in a bid to increase union representation at the chain.
A Wal-mart spokesman says he is not planning to participate in such an initiative, but his union is looking into it.
“We’re going forward with a robust union-organization program and are in the process of working with other unions across the country to ensure the best possible outcome,” says Williams.
For its part, the WGEU union is also looking at ways to bolster its membership.
The union is considering hiring more than 2,000 more union-represented workers and is also preparing for a potential wave of strikes in the coming months, says Steve Roper, president of the WGU union.
But union officials say that while the demand for unionized workers is rising, that demand will not be sufficient to satisfy demand in the labor market, which is already oversupplied.
“As the supply of labor is getting smaller, the demand is getting larger,” says Roper.
“There is going be a very significant labor shortage, not only in the country but globally.
So we’ve got to think long and hard about how we get our labor supply into demand.”
The problem isn’t only that the U-P.
is getting more unionized.
As the UMW and UWD are expanding, so are the number-crunching skills that supply-changers need to make sense of all the data and trends that are changing the world.
As companies seek to increase the amount of work they can do, the supply chain needs to keep up.
“In some ways, this is the biggest challenge of all,” says Daughtry.
“But there are other challenges.”