August CPG Job Creation Leaves Massive Gap in Employment Needs, Consumer Brands Again Calls on Government to Engage Before Consumers’ Needs Go Unmet
ARLINGTON, Va. — Today’s disappointing jobs report shows the delta variant’s impact on the labor force and prompts new concerns for the consumer packaged goods industry having the employee base it needs to meet demand as Americans once again stock up to stay home. According to the Consumer Brands Association’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the CPG industry added only 6,000 jobs, a number that will do little to accommodate the industry’s workforce needs.
“We cannot keep pace with the record demand the industry has experienced without a robust workforce,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of Consumer Brands. “Today’s numbers provide little comfort we have the human capital needed to meet consumer needs for the long-term.”
Demand for CPG products was once again up in July, 5.7% higher than last year. The increase comes on the heels of a record-breaking second quarter that pushed 8.7% above the same quarter a year earlier.
There are currently 826,000 jobs open in the manufacturing sector, approximately 142,000 of which are in the CPG industry. The addition of 6,000 CPG jobs clearly short, despite wage increases of 4.1% in food manufacturing and, within that segment, 5.8% for production and nonsupervisory roles.
“We are facing a supply chain in crisis — a crisis that cannot be overcome without a massive influx of new workers, not the paltry gains we see today,” added Freeman.
With an increase of 400,000 Americans who reported being unable to work for pandemic-related reasons, Consumer Brands renewed its call on the government to address key issues that will grow the labor pool. The association’s recommendations remain:
- Update government guidance and protocols for the vaccinated workforce to provide more clarity as the delta variant evolves.
- Enhance childcare and family support programs and ensure schools have what they need to open fully to provide more consistency for parents who want to work outside the home.
- Facilitate return to work by incentivizing states to create greater flexibility to unemployment and assistance programs.
- Launch new workforce initiatives to advance education, apprenticeships and support of skilled trades and supply chain professions greatly in need of new talent.
- Pass legislation supporting education tax credits, public-private job initiatives and targeted visa reforms to secure the next generation of talent.
“The labor crisis is not a fleeting issue. These policy options won’t fix the problem overnight but will make a real difference for the long-term health of the labor market,” concluded Freeman.
The Consumer Brands Association champions the industry whose products Americans depend on every day, representing nearly 2,000 iconic brands. From household and personal care to food and beverage products, the consumer packaged goods industry plays a vital role in powering the U.S. economy, contributing $2 trillion to U.S. GDP and supporting more than 20 million American jobs.
Published on September 3, 2021
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