Manufacturing Salaries & Benefits

U.S. Commerce Department reports that wages and benefits in the manufacturing sector outpace the compensation paid to non-manufacturing workers.


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As manufacturing positions become more dependent on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skill sets, rates of compensation for manufacturing employees are increasing well beyond the compensation levels in non-manufacturing sectors.

Research from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) analysis of wages and benefits of manufacturing workers shows that total hourly compensation for manufacturing workers is 17 percent higher than for non-manufacturing workers. The premiums in compensation include both wages and employer-provided benefits, e.g. health insurance and retirement plans.

Additionally, the report shows that the number of manufacturing workers with more than a high school degree has been steadily increasing. Currently more than half of all manufacturing workers have at least some college education.

Manufacturing jobs are experiencing the most robust cyclical rebound since the dual recessions of the 1980s. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment has expanded by nearly 500,000 jobs or 4 percent 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.

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