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What rurally-based companies can teach us about shrinking labor pools

Jun 21, 2023
A remote corner of the U.S. might offer insight into how companies can work with the labor market they've got.
Rural companies in areas with low populations have to find ways to attract and retain workers.
Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Why more workers in China are ruling out factory jobs

Apr 17, 2023
Despite high unemployment among young people, most factories are short of workers. It might reflect false promises and poor conditions.
Production in progress at a factory in China's eastern Anhui province. Factory work has lost much of its popularity as a career choice. “The workers just don't trust factory owners,” one former employee said.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

For many Chinese workers, the country's zero-COVID policy has tested family bonds

Dec 12, 2022
Most workers who leave small towns for higher pay in big cities can't bring their families with them. For nearly three years, travel restrictions have kept them apart.
A masked factory worker works on a machine line.
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Reshoring high-tech jobs accelerates as supply chain woes continue

Aug 22, 2022
A shorter chain means less room for error and uncertainty. But that security comes with a higher price tag.
West Coast ports have grappled with hurdles to bringing foreign-made goods into the U.S. market. Those problems are among the factors stirring plans to relocate manufacturing and create jobs here.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Automakers announce furloughs due to COVID-19 shutdowns

Apr 8, 2020
The auto industry is juggling the need to cut costs while preserving its workforce to ramp up once factories reopen.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Inside one highly automated Chinese factory

Nov 13, 2019
China's Shuoke sports equipment factory says robots have helped triple its production.
A worker looks on as a robotic arm at the Shuoke factory sorts plastic panels to form a soccer ball. Machines like this have helped the firm cope with rising costs. (Shanghai 808 Studio)
Shanghai 808 Studio

What worries China's manufacturers more than tariffs? Labor shortages

Dec 4, 2018
The country's workforce has shrunk 3 percent from 2012 to 2017; now its economy is slowing.
Huade High Voltage Electric needs a dozen more workers to keep up with demand.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

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General Electric built this town, but its presence is shrinking

Jan 19, 2018
The company plans to leave the locomotive manufacturing industry in a few years.
Jim Connelly, a former GE engineer, hopes to go back to school and start his own business. He sits at the Lawrence Park Dinor, just up the street from the 350-acre GE plant.
Erika Beras/Marketplace

Not enough skilled factory workers — really?

Oct 7, 2016
Manufacturers complain of a rising "skills gap" among job applicants that is hampering their ability to grow and improve productivity.
Some employers say there are labor shortages in skilled manufacturing.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

How much could the return of factory jobs add up to?

Apr 18, 2016
Manufacturers are getting more done with fewer American workers.
A factory worker at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US Warren Stamping Plant in Warren, Michigan.  
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images