Bakers Journal

U.S. study examines workforce gap in commercial bakery

July 29, 2016
By Doug Picklyk

The American Bakers Association (ABA) and the American Society of Baking (ASB) have released the Workforce Gap in U.S. Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges and Solutions study, a report designed to provide an understanding of the current and expected skills gap in the industry and what can be done to fill it.  

The study found the greatest current workforce gap among U.S. commercial bakers is filling hourly maintenance and engineering positions, with 78 per cent reporting a high or severe shortage.

Looking at industry trends over the past five years, six out of 10 companies (60%) reported an increase in skilled positions, 81 per cent cited increasing concerns about labour costs and an increased use of automation was the other top production-related change.

Just over three-fourths (78%) of commercial baking manufacturers anticipate business success during the next five years to be tied to new product innovation.


Companies surveyed for the report project that hourly machine operators’ positions, unskilled production positions, and salaried scientist and research and development positions will increase in the next 10 years. 

Available online, the study is broken down into three parts: The Workforce Gap in U.S. Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges and Solutions – A Detailed Report; Case Studies in Baking and Manufacturing; and A Best Practice Guide to Fill the Gap in the Baking Industry

Report documents are available for download here.

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