You may not be riding the wave of enthusiasm on the reshoring of manufacturing jobs to the U.S., but whether you buy the notion of a trend in jobs returning from overseas or not, the domestic manufacturing sector is making a comeback.
More evidence comes from the Conference Board, by way of CNNmoney, which analyzed Conference Board data on employment postings and found that openings for skilled manufacturing jobs are up 38 percent since 2005 and more than 150 percent in the last three years.
Texas and California are leading the trend, but so are traditional manufacturing states including Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. All together, there were more than 209,000 manufacturing openings in August 2012, many with starting wages of more than $850 per week.
Whether the surge in openings relates to the repatriation of jobs lost to overseas markets, the rebound from the recession, new policies and programs to boost manufacturing or a combination of all those factors is anyone’s guess right now.
But the Conference Board numbers underscore a clear trend in manufacturing’s renewed momentum – the biggest demand for jobs are in high-skill positions such as machinists, tool-and-die makers and computer-aided machine operators. Lower-wage, low-skill manufacturing shows no signs of mounting a return.
Speaking of wages, the average weekly earnings in the U.S. rose to $818 in July 2012, up about 12 percent from the same period five years earlier and before the economic tumult put a big dent in earnings overall.
Those numbers come from a bizjournals.com analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for private-sector employers in 102 metros. The positive news is that wage rates are up in 79 of the 102 markets. Eight markets now have average weekly earnings that top $1,000, up from five in 2007.
The big gainer was Durham, NC, where the technology and edcuation sectors drove average wages 41 percent higher over that five-year span. At the other end of the scale, the Bridgeport-Stamford CT market saw average weekly earnings shrink by nearly 15 percent, but it still remained one of the five top average wage markets in the nation.
The positive news is that wage rates are up in 79 of the 102 markets. Eight markets now have average weekly earnings that top $1,000, up from five in 2007.
The top five:
San Jose: $1,436
Washington DC: $1,107
San Francisco-Oakland: $1,098
Bridgeport-Stamford, CT: $1,091
And the bottom five:
Average weekly earnings can cut both ways. Higher average wages are a sign that a region is attracting in-demand jobs that require a high level of technical skill or a highly educated, knowledge-based workforce. A region with lower average wages will often note the cost advantages, which beyond labor costs often translate into overall living costs. How does your community position wage rates when it is prospecting for new investment? If you’re in a higher wage rate locale, what other differentiators do you have to be sure to stress? Share your thoughts.