American Bakers Association Warns of Looming Workforce Shortage

The group estimates that the commercial baking industry is facing a shortfall of more than 50,000 workers.

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WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association, in partnership with research firm ndp|analytics, recently unveiled findings on the projected workforce deficits in the commercial baking industry.

As demand for skilled workers continues to grow, so does the need to address the workforce crisis.

In a statement regarding the study, ABA President and CEO Eric Dell said, "The data speaks for itself and is a chasm that threatens the very foundation of our industry and requires immediate and collective action."

Economic Impact

The ongoing workforce shortage in commercial baking is poised to escalate with employers struggling to occupy roles and an aging workforce headed toward retirement. At the current rate, the industry will have 53,500 unfilled jobs by 2030. 

Demand for skilled workers in commercial baking will be concentrated in the critical operational occupations of production, engineering and equipment maintenance, and shipping and distribution. 

By 2030, the ripple effect of these shortages will be felt throughout the supply chain, adversely impacting communities and businesses nationwide.

The total impact — covering direct, indirect and induced effects— reflects 148,000 forgone jobs, $9.7 billion forgone wages, $36.2 billion forgone output, and $3.3 billion in forgone taxes (direct only).

Projected Commercial Baking Shortage in 2030 by Region

  • Midwest: 13.4K unfilled jobs (IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH, WV, WI)
  • South: 12.9K unfilled jobs (AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA)
  • West: 10.3K unfilled jobs (AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, UT, WA)
  • Northeast: 10.2 unfilled jobs (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)
  • Plains: 6.6K unfilled jobs (CO, KS, MT, NE, NM, ND, OK, SD, TX, WY)

"The American Bakers Association champions the pressing issues of the commercial baking industry in Washington," Dell said. "Our advocacy underscores the urgency to maintain an uninterrupted supply of quality baked goods, pave prosperous career paths, and ensure food equity and security across our nation. In collaboration with stakeholders, we are dedicated to safeguarding the future of our industry and the communities we serve by identifying solutions to this growing workforce crisis."

ABA’s members will be addressing this workforce issue and potential solutions with policymakers on Nov. 14 during the Bakers Fly-In and Policy Summit.

See a more detailed breakdown of the regional impacts of workforce shortages in 2030.

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