This report provides a detailed examination of Advanced Manufacturing in the Northeast region. This re-port is part of an eight-part series, each focusing on different areas of the Commonwealth. It examines re-cent employment and earnings trends; analyzes key occupations in Advanced Manufacturing’s subsectors, looking for common labor needs and comparing wages to similar workers in other industries; identifies the most common and critical skills needed by employers; and offers a detailed demographic profile of Advanced Manufacturing to highlight areas of critical concern for the future health of the industry.
More people in the Northeast work in Advanced Manufacturing than in any other region. The region’s nearly 65,000 workers account for nearly a third of all Advanced Manufacturing employment in the Commonwealth. Annual earnings top $89,000 per worker—greatly exceeding the state average as well as most other major industry sectors in the Northeast. The depth of the Advanced Manufacturing sector in the region is reflected in a labor pool which is both deep and broad, with a wide spectrum of workers to draw from of various skill and education levels. In particular, there is a core group of workers that support re-search and innovative activities in addition to those more focused on production and operations.
The Northeast region is dominated by the Computer and Electronics products subsector. Its 370 individual business establishments employ more than 26,000 workers, accounting for over 41% of the entire Advanced Manufacturing employment base. Wages in Computers and Electronics top $115,000 per year with robust real wage growth over the past decade However, the region’s dependence on Computers and Electronics is also a liability. The subsector has shed a net 21,000 jobs since 2001—the largest total loss of any subsector in any region of the state and 60 percent of all job losses in the region’s Advanced Manufactuing sector during this period.
The Advanced Manufacturing workforce in the Northeast is one of the most highly educated and experienced in the state. But like most other areas, the Northeast region may also soon be facing an acute labor shortage if action is not taken in the near future. The typical Advanced Manufacturing worker is currently 45 years old, and within the next ten years roughly 20 percent of the region’s Advanced Manufacturing workforce will approach or enter the traditional retirement age. There are presently few younger workers in the pipeline to replace the impeding retirees. But with proper training and outreach, these anticipated retirements may also create opportunities for young workers and others having a hard time finding a path to well-paying jobs in the modern economy.