Jobs in many industries, particularly restaurants and retail, are currently posting their highest-ever hourly wages. According to data analysis by The Wall Street Journal, the rise is largely a result of these businesses needing more employees to meet the sudden, steep upswing in post-pandemic consumer demand. On the flipside, manufacturers are grappling with soaring material costs for steel, lumber, resin and more — and are therefore unable to increase employee pay.
In the past few decades, the manufacturing industry has been struggling to attract employees, often losing them to other sectors within supply chain. Lately, however, because manufacturing wages have been growing so slowly, companies are losing out to the service industry as well.
Yet more recently, we saw COVID-19 ravage restaurants, hotels, event venues, travel and tourism; whereas supply chain found a moment in the spotlight, keeping goods moving and society running. This excellent level of job security is underscored in ASCM’s brand-new 2021 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report, which found that nearly 60% of industry professionals experienced zero economic impact from the pandemic. Furthermore, 95% of them kept their jobs during a time when many other industries were decimated.
On top of that, supply chain professionals continued to earn impressive wages during astounding disruption. The median annual salary in the past year was about $86,000. And people with APICS certifications enjoyed a median salary of even 27% more than that. Industry professionals also received cash bonuses, ample paid time off, paid family and medical leave, holiday pay, and more. Although fewer workers received raises, those who did had larger increases than in previous years — further highlighting their essential role. Importantly, nearly 90% of supply chain professionals have a positive outlook on their careers and would recommend the field as a fulfilling professional path for others.
Supply chain has even closed the gender pay gap between men and women under age 40. This year, women in this age group reported a median salary of $81,000 annually, which is $2,000 more than their male counterparts. Still, this disparity continues to be an issue for women over 40; it’s vital that businesses incorporate policies that ensure women are supported and primed for continuing professional growth.
Get the word out
Demand for supply chain professionals at all levels continues to climb. In fact, about one-third of our survey respondents say they found a supply chain job less than one month after starting their search; more than half were employed within 90 days. Plus, a typical starting salary in the field is about $60,000.
ASCM offers numerous career resources for those exploring the profession, including a supply chain salary calculator, career coaching, interviewing skills assessment and resume building. In addition, our upcoming Virtual Career Fair connects ASCM members with potential employers in real time.
Wall Street Journal authors Austen Hufford and Nora Naughton say that, to win the talent wars, companies are going to have to think beyond unemployment lines and actually lure people away from their current jobs. In support of this creative talent effort, I encourage you to share this article with a friend, relative or colleague who doesn’t work in supply chain. Tell them about the countless opportunities that await them, and you’ll be opening the door to a stable, lucrative and fulfilling professional future.