metal engraving machineRecent U.S. Labor Department data that shows a record 552,000 manufacturing jobs open in July underscores the industry’s concerns about a lack of skilled workers in this sector, according to National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray.

The federal government’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey found that durable goods manufacturers in particular had an all-time of open positions, increasing from 322,000 in June to 331,000 in July, Moutray said.

“These results echo ongoing concerns about the difficulties of finding talent in the tight labor market, which manufacturers continue to cite as their top challenge,” Moutray said in a tweet this week. “Net hiring accelerated in July, as well, to its strongest reading since January.”

Moutray notes that manufacturers consistently cite the inability to find qualified skilled workers as their most pressing worry in NAM’s Quarterly Manufacturers Outlook Survey.