Manufacturing has long been one of the United States’ most common occupations. During what can be thought of as the golden age of manufacturing in America, tens of millions of Americans were employed in manufacturing everything from food to furniture to factory production parts. By June of 1979, a year the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded as the peak for the number of people employed in the sector, 19.6 million Americans were engaged in manufacturing work.
Forty years later, that number reduced to 12.8 million. This represents a full 35% drop from 1979, with 6.7 million fewer Americans holding down manufacturing jobs. This decline can be attributed to a number of factors. Chief among these is technology, with many manufacturing jobs being automated using machines. Another primary factor is outsourcing, in which many factories have relocated overseas, where workers typically complete the same work for lower wages.
Between 2020-2021, the COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact on manufacturing, forcing many businesses to shutter for a time and causing significant supply chain disruptions to ensue. Labor shortages are forcing some manufacturers to raise wages to compete with other industries like hospitality that draw from the same employee pool.
Although manufacturing in the U.S. isn’t what it used to be, there are still plenty of Americans engaged in manufacturing work. And for those who do trade in everything from woodwork to tailoring to welding, many wages are paid by the hour. But not all manufacturing workers are paid the same, with differences not only according to profession but geographic region as well.
Get It Made used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find the median hourly wage of manufacturing workers in Tennessee. The analysis includes all roles that BLS classifies as “production occupations,” which range widely, from food production manufacturing to machining. Keep reading below to see statistics about your state or check out national trends here.
– Median annual wage for manufacturing: $37,370 ($17.97 median hourly wage)
— #11 lowest among all states
– Number of manufacturing employees: 257,180
– Manufacturing employment per 1,000 jobs: 86.1
States with the highest median annual manufacturing wage
#1. District of Columbia: $62,020
#2. Wyoming: $49,070
#3. Alaska: $47,440
#4. North Dakota: $46,930
#5. Washington: $46,550
States with the lowest median annual manufacturing wage
#1. Alabama: $36,090
#2. Mississippi: $36,130
#3. Arkansas: $36,190
#4 (tie). Delaware: $36,360
#4 (tie). Florida: $36,360
#4 (tie). Georgia: $36,360
This story originally appeared on Get It Made and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.