Made in America: Weekly earnings increase 3% in 2015, gender pay disparity highlighted

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 22 views 

Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Made In America,” a round-up of state and global manufacturing news. 

REAL MEDIAN USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS INCREASED 3 PERCENT OVER THE YEAR: Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 109.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $825 (not seasonally adjusted) in the fourth quarter of 2015. For those workers, real median usual weekly earnings increased 3% percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over that period, real median usual weekly earnings increased 2.1% for men and 0.3% for women. In the fourth quarter of 2015, women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $729, or 80.4% of the $907 median for men.

From the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, among 16- to 24-year-olds who usually worked full time, real median usual weekly earnings increased 6.5% for men and decreased 3.5% for women. Among workers age 25 and older, real median usual weekly earnings increased 2.5% for men and 0.6% for women. To learn more, click here.

NAM LAUNCHES ‘POWER OF SMALL’ CAMPAIGN FOR SMALL, MEDIUM-SIZED MANUFACTURERS: The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has kicked off its “Power of Small” campaign that highlights the critical role small and medium-sized manufacturers play in fueling the sector as well as their importance to the broader U.S. economy. More than 85% of the NAM’s 14,000 manufacturers are small and medium-sized businesses, the industry trade group said. Learn more about the “Power of Small” campaign by visiting this site.

NIST LAUNCHES NATIONAL COMPETITION TO MAKE ROBOTS MORE AGILE: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is launching the Agile Robotics for Industrial Automation Competition (ARIAC) to inspire applications of the latest advances in artificial intelligence and other technologies to solve the challenge of making robots more capable, versatile and collaborative, as well as easier to program.

Now in the planning stages, this first-ever, simulation-based competition will be held at the International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering on August 21-24, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. By engaging now, organizations and individuals can participate in devising the challenges that will make up the competition.

NIST will unveil the specific task-related challenges, and solutions will be demonstrated in a computer model of a real-world manufacturing operation. Improving agility, so that robots can perform a diverse set of tasks and be re-tasked on the fly, would eliminate a major obstacle to wider adoption of the technology, especially among small and medium-size manufacturers. To learn more, click here.