Study Reveals New Hires in Manufacturing Sector Earn More Compared to Other Industries

Looking for ways to attract students to your manufacturing programs and to manufacturing jobs? A new study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Economics and Statistical Administration offers a different and positive light on wages and salaries in manufacturing. Although comparisons between new hires and incumbent workers probably won’t mean much to students, strong worker earnings for the manufacturing sector between 2000-2011 are something to think about.

Manufacturing jobs continue to earn their reputation as “good jobs.” To most, a “good job” offers above
average wages and benefits, full-time hours, and stable employment. A relatively new data source, the Quarterly Workforce Indicators, reveals that new hires in manufacturing sectors earn more than new hires in other industries. Key points include a notable premium for new hires in manufacturing (38 percent) at the end of 2011. Additionally, new hires in manufacturing make approximately 70 percent of incumbent worker earnings compared to new hires in other industries that average only 60 percent of incumbents. Since the recession began, new hires and incumbents in manufacturing have had real earnings grow 3.5 and 2.4 percent points. New hires in other industries saw no growth in earnings while incumbents actually have seen a decline in real earnings during the study time period 2000-2011. 

Other good news can be gleaned from the data.  The smaller gap between new hires and incumbents can
indicate a higher skill and/or education level of the new hires joining the manufacturing workforce. This reflects the industry’s need for multi-skilled technicians to operate and maintain the increasingly sophisticated automated machinery that is being added to most manufacturing facilities across the country. This is certainly the direction we see with our manufacturing partners in Florida who are looking for more skilled and educated workers to grow their workforce. 

The full report is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration at Write your thoughts and continue the discussion below this blog post, or on our Facebook page

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