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Recovery in Manufacturing Sector Not Seen in Factory Wages Recovery in Manufacturing Sector Not Seen in Factory Wages Recovery in Manufacturing Sector Not Seen in Factory Wages Recovery in Manufacturing...

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Economy / economy

Recovery in Manufacturing Sector Not Seen in Factory Wages

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
May 18, 2011

An uptick in manufacturing jobs coming back to the United States isn’t translating into a return to the wages factory workers used to earn, according to The Washington Post.

While factories are beginning to make up for the jobs lost during the recession -- adding 250,000 jobs since the beginning of last year, a 13 percent recovery -- wages have dropped sharply. The Post profiles a new factory in Ohio that makes small appliances like space heaters and vacuums, where new jobs will start at $7.50 an hour. Old jobs at Hoover, a company that sells similar products, used to start at $20 an hour -- though Hoover outsourced its production lines to Mexico and El Paso in 2007.

Companies say that they can only afford to pay workers commensurate with their skill level. And even though manufacturing, growing at an estimated annual rate of 9.1 percent in the first three months of 2011, may be making a recovery as labor costs rise in places like China, it can still be cheaper to make products there. The company profiled in the article, Suarez Corp. Industries, only chose to move production back to the U.S. to cut the time it took to get products in stores.

 

The recovery is certainly translating into company profits. Several manufacturing-based companies are recording record earnings and profits as the industry begins to recover the nearly 6 million factory jobs lost between 2000 and 2009.

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