The Importance of U.S. Manufacturing

24. Trade Engagement Pays Through Higher Wages

Higher employee compensation and trade intensity go hand in hand. Employees in the most trade-intensive industries—where combined exports and imports amount to at least 75 percent of their domestic industrial output—earn an annual compensation package that averages about $93,770. This is close to 50 percent higher than average compensation in the least trade-engaged sectors of manufacturing. Industries in this most trade-engaged category also account for about half of U.S. manufacturing trade. In comparison, the middle group of trade-engaged industries pays about $82,120 a year in wages and benefits. Industries in this category account for slightly more than one-third of U.S. manufacturing trade. The industries with the least trade engagement pay approximately $59,550 a year and account for only 9 percent of U.S. manufacturing trade.
The premium pay of trade-engaged industries also extends to other manufacturing and service companies in the supply chain. Employers at these companies—where jobs are directly supported by exporting—enjoy higher pay than their peers at companies that are solely domestic.

To Employment and Compensation


Manufacturing Job Gains Are Largest in the Northwest and Midwest Percentage Change in Manufacturing Employment by State, Dec. 2009-Oct.2013


A Wide Range of Occupations Contribute to U.S. Manufacturing Production


Both Professional and Semi-Skilled Employees Staff the Non-Production Side of U.S. Manufacturing


Manufacturing Supports Millions of U.S. Jobs in Other Sectors


Manufacturing Pays Higher Average Compensation


Manufacturing Is a Leader in Offering Healthcare Benefits


Manufacturers Support Healthcare Insurance for Workers and Families


Trade Engagement Pays Through Higher Wages