Made in America: U.S. production job workers average $15.51 per hour

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 134 views 

“Made In America,” is a round-up of state and global manufacturing news.


The 9 million, blue collar-focused production jobs in the U.S. averaged median wages of $15.51 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers had the highest median hourly wages at $36.38 among the 50 production occupation groups. On the lower end, median hourly wages for pressers, textile, garment and related materials jobs of $9.84 were lower than wages of other production occupations during the same period. Median hourly earnings are the midpoint in an earnings distribution, with half of jobs having earnings above the median and the other half having earnings below the median.

Among the 50 occupation groups within production occupations, there were 1,366,250 miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators in May 2015. The miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators accounted for 15% of all jobs in production occupations, the most of any group.

Miscellaneous production workers (881,020) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (603,080) followed miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators as the production occupations with the greatest number of production occupation jobs.

General Motors announced on Jan. 17 that it will invest an additional $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing operations. These investments follow $2.9 billion announced in 2016 and more than $21 billion GM has invested in its U.S. operations since 2009, the U.S. automaker said.

The new investments cover multiple new vehicle, advanced technology and component projects. A combination of 1,500 new and retained jobs are tied to the new investments. Details of individual projects will be announced throughout the year. The Detroit-based auto giant also announced it will begin work on insourcing axle production for its next generation full-size pickup trucks, including work previously done in Mexico, to operations in Michigan, creating 450 U.S. jobs.

GM said the announcement is part of the company’s increased focus on overall efficiency over the last four years. With a strategy to streamline and simplify its operations and grow its business, GM has created 25,000 jobs in the U.S. − approximately 19,000 engineering, IT and professional jobs and 6,000 hourly manufacturing jobs – and added nearly $3 billion in annual wages and benefits to the U.S. economy over that period. At the same time, GM reduced more than 15,000 positions outside the U.S., bringing most of those jobs to the U.S., the company said.

Boeing is using 3D printing and advanced manufacturing techniques at its Everett, Wash.-based manufacturing facility to build the largest wing ever built by the U.S. aircraft maker for the company’s new 777x commercial, which will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. Construction on Boeing’s 1.3 million-square-foot manufacturing plant will take place over the next 18 months, with the roll-in of new tools and equipment. Preproduction parts for the 777x are underway, and nearly 130 mechanics are testing equipment and the first prototype parts, while another 170 employees have moved into the offices so far.

Production of the first 777x is expected to begin next year. Following flight testing and certification programs, the first delivery is scheduled for 2020. The aircraft’s GE9x turbofan engines also recently passed two testing milestones in preparation for their delivery to Boeing. The company has invested more than $1 billion to construct the new facility. To see a video of Boeing’s 777x manufacturing operations, click here.

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