Early in the pandemic, the automotive industry slowed production due to lower demand for new vehicles. But once they were ready to ramp back up, the manufacturers were surprised to find a semiconductor chip shortage was derailing their production capabilities and threatening to prolong their recovery cycle.
Job postings for electrical engineers in the U.S. semiconductor industry grew 78% from 2020 to 2021 — more than three times faster than growth for electrical engineers overall. What’s more, the U.S. semiconductor industry will need between 70,000 and 90,000 new workers by 2025 to meet the most critical workforce needs, reported Eightfold.ai.
There are many strategies being aimed at helping the industry overcome today’s unrelenting labor crisis. But will any of them work?
By now, the world is fully aware of the impact of the semiconductor chip shortage — the industry, businesses, and the economy have taken enormous hits. But there is another looming concern that industry leaders say threatens the U.S. semiconductor industry — national security.
The problem, as many see it, is that the U.S. has become too dependent on chip manufacturing in Asia. Both the recent war in Ukraine and long-brewing tensions between countries in close proximity to China are making national security an increasingly urgent issue.