Manufacturing is coming back. Manufacturing wages are another story.
There has been a lot of talk this election season about bringing back manufacturing to North America. More importantly, the political back and forth has been focused on bringing back high wage manufacturing jobs, also known as “good jobs with good wages.”
The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) published a fascinating research paper on a phenomenon that isn’t much discussed in the run-up to the election. That is that manufacturing wages have been on the decline for years and remains so today. Hourly pay in manufacturing – good jobs at good wages – is trailing pay in the rest of the private sector. Further, manufacturing wages are on the decline in all but a handful of manufacturing sectors.
The paper highlights some of the challenges and opportunities for our industry, and industry in general, as continue the task of rebuilding our economy, regardless of the outcome of the election.