Tag Archive for: skilled workforce

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Labor scarcity will be among the major headwinds driving industrial commercial real estate decisions in 2022 as record shortages challenge distribution channels and unemployment hits a near-historic low.

“With industrial related hiring already at all-time highs, the continued need for labor to service growing e-commerce demands, combined with an economy at nearly full employment, is exacerbating the labor shortage for distribution workers in many markets,” a new Colliers report notes, adding that the US unemployment rate is now near a 50 year low of 3.5%.

And while so far, the industrial sector has managed to post record growth, the labor shortages span “nearly all demographic groups and affect the entire American economy,” and continuing lows will slow the rate of economic growth and slow manufacturing output, Colliers predicts.

“While automation and advanced technologies are becoming more prevalent and affecting industrial employment, the future will still rely on highly skilled labor to operate complex systems and machinery, alongside robotics—labor that is increasingly more difficult to find,” the Colliers report notes.

In addition, scarce land availability will continue to impact the sector. Prologis reports that construction starts have risen to an all time high of 120 million square feet in the sector, but the firm notes that new supply is mainly concentrated in low-barrier secondary and tertiary markets and the outlying submarkets of inland markets.

While a record level of new supply is expected by the end of 2022—including massive build-to-suit projects for e-commerce suppliers and big-box chains—land near big population centers is increasingly scarce.

“Companies seem willing to pay a premium price for land with fierce competition for developable sites,” Colliers analysts note. “This competition is also driving up industrial rents, especially for logistics space near US seaports.”

Colliers also notes that facilities in excess of 2 million square feet are increasingly popular in dense markets as retailers attempt to establish footholds closer to consumers and shorten delivery times. The firm is tracking 12 such big-box multi-story industrial mega centers currently under construction, and notes that a vast majority are for Amazon.


Source: GlobeSt.

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The economy is in dire need of restructuring in Florida, and according to experts with the Florida International University of Miami, manufacturing will be key in building resilience in 2021 and onwards.

This is not the dirty manufacturing of old, however. Using new technology and tools, exciting new industrial developments and manufacturing businesses will be able to tie together old processes with the new to create a high-tech and profitable new manufacturing environment.

Diagnostic Tools

Florida has a very diverse manufacturing history, and this has lent itself to the need for technological upscaling. Business consultants SME note this: manufacturing encompasses everything from plastics, to tortillas, to motor vehicles. This makes the use of new technology that can be used to improve tech, new and old, very important, and can bring a high-tech tilt to manufacturing.

Industrial tech experts SPI Borescopes (www.spiborescopes.com) note this in relation to optical technology; pairing the simple use of newer optical tech in conjunction with older manufacturing processes and technology can help to upscale older equipment and make it more useful.

Upscaling Old Processes

Building new manufacturing resilience in South Florida is going to be important if the industry is to continue to develop and thrive. This is because Florida as a whole suffers a skills gap; despite there being over 500,000 unemployed Floridians, 260,000 jobs remain open due to a lack of appropriately skilled workers to place into these roles. Key technological advances that make new and old processes accessible to Floridians is crucial, as is education.

Technology-Driven Education

A positive result of the events of 2020 has been an upscaling of digital skills and education. Reuters highlights the current generation of newly digitally-able people as a promising change in the overall labor market. Nowhere will this be more beneficial than in the Florida of the future. Providing the skills for manufacturing workers in all sectors to be able to cross-skill and drive new industry is going to help the state create a new economic profile and uplift society in general.

In much the same way as other industries are experiencing, technology and digital skills are leading the way.


Source: South Florida Reporter