The manufacturing sector has shed a lot of jobs in the past few decades, including another 1,000 last month. But for those who remain employed, some metrics are improving.
The length of the average workweek in manufacturing for production and non-supervisory workers is at 42 hours, its highest level since the end of World War II. Factories appear to be working their existing employees harder rather than hiring new ones.
Average hourly earnings for all manufacturing workers ticked up too, to $24.73 from $24.71. The extra couple of pennies per hour combined with extra hours added an additional $8 into manufacturing workers’ weekly paychecks.
For all production and non-supervisory workers across all sectors, hours also rose from February to March. The long-term trend, though, has been downward (perhaps at least in part because more women have joined the labor force over time, are less likely to be working in manufacturing than men are, and tend to work fewer hours than men).