Baking Industry Faces Growing Labor Shortages

Baking Industry is Experiencing a Major Hurdle

  • 24 June 2024
Baking Industry Faces Growing Labor Shortages

United States - The baking industry is currently facing significant labor shortages, which are expected to persist and worsen in the coming years.

According to a 2024 Capital Spending Study by Cypress Research, sponsored by BEMA, 73% of baker respondents identified attracting and retaining a quality workforce as their biggest challenge for the next 12 to 18 months, surpassing concerns such as rising raw material costs and inflation.

Rasma Zvaners, Vice President of Government Relations at the American Bakers Association, highlights a grim forecast with an anticipated 53,500 unfilled jobs by 2030.

The industry's struggle is partly due to the need for skilled labor to operate advanced baking equipment, which is becoming increasingly scarce and competitive.

Bill Paterakis, Chief Executive of H&S Bakery in Baltimore, and Jeff Dearduff, Owner of JED Mechanical Services, both note that fewer people are attracted to bakery roles.

The physical demands and the unsociable hours of many bakery jobs do not align with the expectations of today’s workforce.

Moreover, the rapid turnover within these roles shows a lack of long-term commitment from new hires, who often leave for other opportunities after brief stints.

In response to these challenges, some bakeries are adapting by targeting often-overlooked segments of the workforce.

For instance, Rubicon Bakers in Richmond, California, has successfully staffed their operations by hiring individuals who are frequently excluded by traditional hiring practices, such as the formerly incarcerated, immigrants, and refugees.

According to Garrett Pounds, Chief Operating Officer of Rubicon Bakers, hiring from these communities helps bakeries fill open jobs and give their employees a good chance to improve their lives. This also leads to a more reliable team of workers.

This shift towards more inclusive hiring practices could potentially offer a dual benefit: alleviating staffing issues in the baking industry and making a significant social impact.

As labor shortages continue to challenge the industry, innovative strategies like these may become crucial for sustaining production and maintaining competitive advantage in the bakery sector.

To view current Food Manufacturing Jobs, visit

Bakery Jobs

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter