Jul 18, 201612:59 PMBlog

Making things, but not a living wage

Jul 18, 2016 - 12:59 PM

Low wages in manufacturing jobs mean just over a third of non-supervisory production workers and half of those supplied through temporary staffing agencies rely on at least one public assistance program to support themselves and their families.

Those findings by the Center for Labor Research and Education at University of California Berkeley also found $143 million per year in Washington state in public assistance was paid to workers with jobs in manufacturing.

“Manufacturing has long been thought of as providing high-paying, middle-class work,” said Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center and co-author of the report, “but the reality is the production jobs are increasingly coming to resemble fast-food or Walmart jobs, especially for those workers employed through temporary staffing agencies.”

Today, low-paying temporary production jobs account for nine percent of all frontline jobs in manufacturing – a number than was less than one percent 25 years ago. These contract labor assemblers and fabricators earn a median wage of $10.88 per hour, compared to $15.03 for those hired directly by the manufacturer.

You can read the full report at this link. It checked Medicaid, CHIP, EITC, food stamps and basic household income assistance.


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