Local News story

Winners and losers in forklift jobs

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 ( #985 )
Forklift operators are very much in demand in some markets, while in other areas, there seem to be more drivers looking for jobs than positions available. A staffing agency in Kern County, California recently interviewed for over 40 warehouse positions, with forklift operators needed to meet an increased demand in warehouse operations. Local media are quoting the recruiter saying there has been a large growth within the area's warehouses, generating vacancies for "a lot of forklift operators". The vacancies are throughout Bakersfield and up to the Buttonwillow area, with pay rates of between USD14 and USD16 an hour. Forklift operator jobs were also on offer at a recent job fair in Somerset, Kentucky, where Resource MFG was sourcing drivers to work in the manufacturing sector, alongside assembly workers and machine operators. "We have a range from entry-level positions to highly skilled positions to a range of salaries to meet any kind of requirement," one of the organisers told the local television station. In Hobart, Indiana, materials handling manufacturer Daifuku recently announced plans to hire "dozens of people this month and hundreds over the next few years". Daifuku is benefiting from increased demand for its conveyor equipment, and director of manufacturing Dustin Boyd told the local ABC television news he expects the production facility will "about double again in size", eventually employing close to 500 or 600 people. The report also interviewed Rueben Rivera, who had started working at the facility as a forklift operator and materials handler just a few months ago. "To be able to come to work during this pandemic, a lot of us are grateful and thankful that the doors ain't closed right now," Rivera said. A new report from Australia shows that demand for people with forklift licences is higher than that for people with bachelor's degrees. According to The Australian Financial Review, the ability to operate vehicles and mechanised equipment is among one of the top three skills in demand at the moment. Meanwhile, more pessimistic reports from the UK indicate intense interest in forklift operator roles, with online searches up 239%. A report in The Mirror quotes a leading recruiter saying the coronavirus pandemic has made it hard to find a job in the UK and things will only get worse with up to 2 million Britons expected to become unemployed over the next few months. The Office of National Statistics indicates that the number of paid workers in the UK dropped by 649,000 between March and June, including 74,000 in the past month. Forklift roles were among the most popular online searches, behind "supermarket" roles (up 589% compared with this time last year) and maintenance job searches (up 440%).