May 10, 2012

Manufacturing Jobs are Transforming into Higher Skilled and Higher Paying Careers

worker manufacturing metal goodsIn its new report “The Benefits of Manufacturing Jobs,” the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration has concluded that manufacturing workers are receiving a total hourly wage 17 percent higher than non-manufacturing workers. The report also found that the number of workers in manufacturing jobs with a high school diploma increased along with the number of workers with at least some college (over 50 percent). This increase in education among workers may be a result of the heightened reliance on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) within the manufacturing industries. What’s more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that employment within manufacturing industries has risen by almost half a million jobs since January 2010.

“Today’s report is welcome and important news on America’s job front: manufacturing employment means higher wages and important benefits for Americans and their families,” said Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “My priority as Commerce Secretary is to support American manufacturers in building things here and selling them everywhere and today’s analysis underscores the importance of the resurgence in U.S. manufacturing to our middle class.”

Additional key findings from the manufacturing job trends report include:

  • Average hourly wages and salaries for manufacturing jobs are $29.75 and total compensation (including benefits) is $38.27. For non-manufacturing employees the numbers fall to $27.47 and $32.84 per hour.
  • In 2011, 53 percent of manufacturing employees had at least some college education, up 10 percent since 1994.
  • Nearly one-third of college-educated manufacturing employees has a STEM job; over 20 percent higher than those in non-manufacturing jobs.

Read more news in Job Trends

Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.