For some time, a shortage of qualified workers has plagued several key industries. Without the workers to fill these jobs, these industries stagnate. Bosses don’t have the employees to meet their companies’ current demands, nor can they make plans for future growth due to the labor shortage. While many industries have been hit, some are experiencing the pain of the labor shortages more acutely than others.

Health Care

The health care industry struggles to keep up with a labor shortfall that has been created by an aging population. In other words, more people are aging and requiring care than there are individuals to help them. While the health care industry needs more people to fill the roles of doctors, nurses and lab technicians, the biggest demand, to the tune of 459,000, is for home health aides. While supply has something to do with the labor shortage, pay is also an issue for these workers. Home health aides usually make less than $24,000 a year for what can be a very challenging job. Paying these individuals a bit more is one way to start filling these positions.


In manufacturing, there will be 2 million fewer workers available than are needed to fill the available jobs in the industry. One of the reasons why this industry faces such a shortage is due to a skills gap. Many people who would otherwise be good matches for manufacturing jobs don’t get trained for them. Many of these workers opted out of blue-collar work in favor of white-collar jobs. The other challenge the industry will face is retirement. Many people who are working in the industry now will retire, which will take approximately 2.7 million manufacturing workers out of the workforce. Automated technology and more technically advanced machinery are helping bridge the worker shortage gap. Automation can replace some of the more repetitive jobs in manufacturing, leaving the jobs that require more skills for workers who have been trained in those skills.

Hotels and Restaurants

Ardent foodies and travel buffs may absolutely love the explosive growth experienced by the hospitality industry. However, despite the good this growth does for the economy, it does have a downside. There are just not enough workers. Part of the issue is that fewer people who have typically been associated with this type of work, which includes teens, immigrants and college students, are applying. This fact, coupled with a demand for higher wages, has left many in the industry scrambling for workers. It has also forced some businesses to resort to technology to address the shortfall. Giving restaurant visitors the ability to pay at the table via an electronic self-serve checkout device is one such solution that restaurant owners have turned to in order to address the labor shortage.

For would-be workers in health care, manufacturing and hospitality, it’s a buyer’s market. Individuals who have the skills that these industries require can pretty much take their pick of jobs. Employers who want to address the shortfall can take certain steps, like increasing employee pay and turning to automation to fill the gap.