Manufacturing Jobs Not Sexiest But More Lucrative Over Long Run

Manufacturing is not the sexiest industry to work in but it certainly pays its workers better than most industries, a recent Commerce Department study concludes. After all, we can't all grow up to be famous rappers, fashion designers and professional athletes. We've got an economy to run.

It counters another recent study concluding that manufacturing wages were actually slipping, based on a simple and less-than-scientific comparison of hourly wages across all industries in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown. Not so, when you compare "apples to apples," said Mark Doms, the agency's undersecretary for economic affairs to the Washington Post.

Or in this case, comparing non-management employees of the manufacturing sector to non-management employees of other sectors over the long term. Same thing for management employees.

When Commerce's economists viewed it that way, they found that the "manufacturing wage premium [has] been robust over time," Doms told The Post.

During the Great Recession of 2008, the wage advantage hasn't been so evident, however. Non-supervisory manufacturing workers actually earned less than the national average over all industries.

But over time, it has been. When retirement and medical benefits are factored in, manufacturing workers of all stripes surpass their non-manufacturing peers.

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