July 13, 2021

Plastics industry is hiring, but skills gap remains

By Perc Pineda, PLASTICS Chief Economist / The plastics industry employed over a million workers in 2019. When considering the employees in upstream industry suppliers to the plastics industry, total employees increase to 1.5 million. Between 2012 and 2019, employment in plastics manufacturing rose 1.6 percent — higher than the 1 percent increase in all of U.S. manufacturing. While our industry experienced faster employment growth compared to the total manufacturing of the economy, a tight labor supply — particularly skilled workers — has been an ongoing issue.