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Manufacturing Day

On Manufacturing Day, U.S. Commerce Department Unveils Report Showing Pay Premium Exists for Manufacturing

WASHINGTON – As "America's Data Agency," the Commerce Department today released a new report drawing on evidence from 10 federal data sets to show that a pay premium exists for workers in manufacturing industries. The report by the Economics and Statistics Administration's Office of the Chief Economist rebuts criticisms about the existence of a manufacturing pay premium, and based on the evidence, clearly demonstrates that manufacturing jobs pay better than jobs in other sectors, with earnings up to 32 percent higher.

The Pay Premium for Manufacturing Workers as Measured by Federal Statistics

Historically, manufacturing jobs have offered relatively high pay. However, there is not a consensus on the size of the pay premium for manufacturing jobs relative to the economy as a whole or even whether a premium continues to exist. This report turns to evidence to answer those questions, using ten federal datasets, each of which allows us to calculate and compare the average pay of manufacturing workers and the average pay of workers overall. The following datasets are included:

Manufacturing Pays

Historically, manufacturing jobs have offered relatively high pay, good benefits, and job security. However, as the economy has changed, the manufacturing sector's reputation for offering higher-paying jobs has been called into question – but our research rebuts this criticism.  In a new short report  available on the Department of Commerce's Office of the Chief Economist's website, we use ten federal datasets to compare the average pay of manufacturing employees to the average pay of private sector employees and find that a pay premium still exists.

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