Furniture that’s Made in USA
America still has a vibrant furniture-making industry, but it is currently facing a labor shortage despite having shrunken considerably in recent decades.
Most people are surprised that they can still find made-in-the-U.S.A. options when shopping for furniture – and not just at the high end of the market. There are domestically-produced pieces at mid range price points on offer, both in traditional stores like Macy’s and online retailers including overstock.com.
However, furniture-making has been an industry in retreat in the U.S.: according to labor union the AFL-CIO, there is about a third fewer jobs in the U.S. furniture manufacturing today than there were in 2000.
Despite this, the industry is facing a labor shortage. Consulting firm Anderson Bauman Tourtellot Vos said that U.S. furniture makers are beset by a combination of rising demand for their products, (which is good), and an aging workforce that is already too thinned-out to meet demand.
According to the firm, younger workers simply aren’t attracted to careers in manufacturing – which is not good for furniture makers, since half of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of Millennials by 2020.
Of course, decades of cutbacks and off-shoring in the manufacturing sector have given many young people reason to look elsewhere for careers with job security. Although U.S. manufacturing has made a comeback in recent years, it is still nowhere near the force it was during the post-WWII boom years.
With more shoppers actively seeking made-in-the-U.S.A. furniture these days, it would seem that there is indeed a future for this industry. It would be a shame if that opportunity were to be threatened by a shortage of skilled workers.
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