The Weekly Report – March 15, 2021
With national discussion about the federal minimum wage, it’s important to recognize the great wages many manufacturers pay.
March 15, 20214 min read
You’ve no doubt heard a lot about proposals to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour.
While the effort ultimately failed, the discussion got us thinking about the great wages many manufacturers pay in Minnesota and across the nation.
Manufacturing jobs in Minnesota pay an average annual wage of $68,081, which is 16% higher than the state’s overall average wage. Manufacturers provide 324,000 highly skilled, well-paying jobs in Minnesota, which significantly contribute to the state’s high standard of living and economic vitality.
A quick glance at job listings shows wages well above the state average.
An asphalt roofing material manufacturer in Shakopee is paying up to $29 per hour for production operators. A manufacturer of custom concrete products in St. Cloud is offering up to $28 per hour. An iron foundry in Mankato is offering $22 per hour to join its production team.
And there are many more.
Enterprise Minnesota proudly helps manufacturers create those jobs. In the last five years alone, we have helped more than 510 Minnesota manufacturers grow and create jobs by guiding them to greater efficiency and helping them shrewdly plan for the future. These companies have invested over $289 million in modernization, added or retained 6,600 jobs, increased sales by more than $696 million and reduced costs by $131 million.
When people are paid better and treated well, they’re much more likely to stay. And the longer they stay, the less likely it becomes that the company has to sink money into replacing them, training the new hires and bringing them up to the level of the person who left. Paying people better wages contributes to profitability.
Wage levels aren’t likely to change, either. While we celebrate the competitive wages, we lament the fact that so many manufacturers in Minnesota still struggle with workforce issues. In parts of the state where there just aren’t enough bodies to fill all the vacant jobs, a competitive wage can only go so far to filling vacancies.
It’s important that so many manufacturers are already proactively contributing to a prosperous economy. Workers took home $22.1 billion in wages from Minnesota manufacturing jobs in 2019, the second-largest total payroll among private sector industries.
We think that’s worth celebrating.
Read more about Minnesota’s great manufacturing companies in the Spring 2021 issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine
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