Manufacturing Wages Now Competing with Fast Food, Retail

It's a big problem for the manufacturing industry.

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal explores a big problem when it comes to compensation in the manufacturing industry.

Wage gains in the manufacturing industry have been so slow that WSJ says manufacturers are now competing with fast food restaurants and retail stores for workers.

There was a time when manufacturing wages held a significant edge over those in retail or hospitality, but that is eroding.

According to the analysis, manufacturing workers made 40% more than retail workers 10 years ago.

Today, the wage premium has shrunk to 27% as workers in other industries are demanding higher pay.

As multiple industries fight for the same people, the number of U.S. workers employed by manufacturers continues to decline: from 20% in the early ‘80s to less than 9% today.

Despite the wage competition, economist Lawrence Mishel pointed out that manufacturing still tends to offer better healthcare and retirement than some of these other industries.


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