Plastics Jobs Market Outlook for 2023
While the shadow of a possible recession hangs over all economic news, it’s difficult to predict the effect economic headwinds will have on different sectors of the economy. Plastics jobs are no exception.
Analysts expect steady, but slower growth in the plastics sector for 2023. That said, employers in this market will continue struggling to find good talent, no matter how the year plays out. Companies have improved on many of the shortages they’ve struggled with, including materials, but continue hunt for job seekers in a shallow pool.
For plastics jobs – what’s the same?
he lack of candidates has been a common problem for years, intensifying since 2020. It’s not a short-term problem, given the industry demographics. As of 2021, over 25% of the plastics manufacturing workforce was 55 or older. Analysts expect that number to grow in the next decade.
While automation, in areas such as injection molding, may ease some of this with line-workers, there’s no easy solution for engineers, or other positions requiring advanced skills. This means companies need to continue updating their recruiting strategies in the next decade to stay competitive. These include:
- Maintaining strong relationships with Plastics Recruiters who specialize in the industry
- Establishing, and maintaining, solid retention strategies
- Continuous analysis of job market data/trends
- Streamlining recruiting practices for efficiency Recruiting quality engineers, plant managers, etc. won’t get any easier soon. Navigating the plastics jobs market will be challenging for even the best employers.
What will change?
- We’re heading into the end of 2022 with a lot of questions in the air. Will there be a recession (has it already started)? If so, how will it affect the plastics market? How should we adapt our hiring strategy? There’s no clear answer to any of these questions yet. In fact, we shouldn’t expect clarity until most of the year is behind us. Some possibilities include:
- Economic instability may prompt some to look for more stable employment, putting more engineers on the market.
- If that does occur, it will probably still not be enough to tip things in employers’ favor.
- Like 2020, there will be an uptick in retirements, opening more positions than expected.
Reshoring will continue gaining momentum, further increasing candidate demand.
These are important possibilities to keep in mind while putting together a 2023 recruiting strategy. Whatever you go with, you need to make room to be adaptable. As with every year, 2023 will produce some twists we didn’t see coming, even if they look obvious in hindsight.
Compared to 2022, the plastics industry is facing more headwinds, due to a global economic slowdown. That said, it would be a mistake to assume it would have the same effect on the job market as previous downturns. We have unique circumstances due to demographic shifts, reshoring, and other unpredictable factors.
One thing you can count on is no matter what happens, a good recruiting partner can make the difference between success and failure. The AJ Augur Group (Plastics Recruiter/Headhunter) is your ally in winning the war for talent in the plastics domain. In addition to our wide network (covering everything from Sales, Operations, Engineering, R&D and Quality), we have the experience to help you develop successful hiring practices. Use our experience to bring in the high-end talent you need to succeed.