hires in the U.S. manufacturing sector make more money than new
hires in other industries, despite a vast number of factory
opportunities that have moved overseas since the 1980s,
according to a recent Economics and Statistics Administration
Using the U.S.
governments quarterly workforce indicators, an ESA
analysis of earnings of new hires vs. incumbent workers found
that manufacturing industry workers have done "particularly
well" since the recession began. "At the end of 2011, the
manufacturing earnings premium for new hires stood at about 38
percent," ESA researchers said.
Over time, the
earnings of new hires relative to incumbent workers have been
consistently higher in manufacturing. From 2000 to 2011, the
earnings of new hires were about 70 percent of incumbents
earnings in manufacturing, compared with an average of 60
percent in other industries.
explanation ... is that as employers hired fewer workers during
the recession, those workers who were hired were more skilled,"
researchers wrote. "If this shift toward more highly skilled
hires was more pronounced in the manufacturing sector, then the
relative earnings of hires in manufacturing would
receive premium wages because they require highly skilled
workers who drive productivity gains and contribute an outsized
share of economic growth," said Scott Paul, president of the
Alliance of American Manufacturers.
Since the recession
began, average earnings for new hires in manufacturing grew 3.5
percent while earnings of incumbents grew about 2.4
Jobs in the
manufacturing sector are generally considered "good jobs," a
source of above-average wages and benefits, full-time hours,
and stable employment for millions of Americans, the ESA
The decline in
manufacturing jobs accelerated during the 2008-09 recession,
but since 2010 payroll employment in manufacturing has
experienced its first extended period of growth since the
1990s. In addition to the new-hire premium, the study found
that for the American workforce as a wholeincluding new
hires and existing workersearnings were 25 percent higher
in manufacturing than in other industries.
"There are too few of
these good jobs being created," said Paul. "Hiring in
manufacturing has slowed dramatically over the past year."
Paul hopes Congress
and the White House will enact public policiessuch as
infrastructure investment, tax incentives for domestic
production, tackling currency manipulation and cutting the
trade deficitthat could spur hiring in factories.