10:25am

Mon October 31, 2011
Business and the Economy

Over Half of KY Manufacturers to Hire in 2012

Fifty-eight percent of Kentucky manufacturers surveyed for the recently conducted 2011 Annual Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey said they are planning to hire between one and 19 employees in 2012, up 1 percent from last year’s results. The annual report, sponsored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, was released Monday.

The survey showed that the positions of manufacturing employees included in the survey made an annualized average of $48,609 in 2011 and that 98 percent of the companies that participated in the survey offer health insurance to their employees, while 89 percent of those cover family members as well. Questions about benefits showed that 68 percent of the companies provide nine or more paid holidays per year and 51 percent provide an annual bonus.

“In order for manufacturers to attract and retain highly skilled individuals in today’s more modern and very efficient workplace, manufacturing employees are compensated with very competitive wages and great benefits packages,” said Greg Higdon, KAM President & CEO. “KAM’s 2011 Wage & Benefits reports confirm once again that more Kentuckians should obtain the appropriate technical education to secure one of these great employment opportunities in manufacturing.”

Fifty-four percent of Kentucky manufacturers surveyed are emphasizing education and training in green practices, such as reducing their energy use, making environmentally friendly products, reducing pollution, conserving natural resources and being more cost effective. New green products are being developed by 25 percent of these companies.

“This study represents data collected from 228 companies in Kentucky,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment. “It gives us a valuable snapshot of what is happening and shows that manufacturers looking to rebound from the recession are facing higher demand for greener products and seeking to save money by consuming less energy and re-using materials.”

IQS Research of Louisville collaborated with KAM on the development of the wage and benefits survey for Kentucky’s manufacturing community. The Kentucky Career Center, Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Northwest Kentucky Forward, Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, South Central Kentucky Regional Economic Development Partnership and Greater Louisville, Inc., also supported the survey this year.

In addition to the statewide report, the Department of Workforce Investment worked with KAM to produce a set of regional reports. The information gives manufacturers timely and accurate wage and benefits information such as paid vacation and sick time, health insurance and overtime pay when making hiring and promotion decisions.

To conduct the survey, IQS Research e-mailed invitations to Kentucky manufacturers. Information was collected and compiled from July - September 2011. The number of companies participating in the report rose from 202 in the last survey to 228 this year.

Of the employers who participated, 48 percent said that they had fewer than 100 employees. All of the information provided in the report is in aggregate form, so as to not identify individual companies.

Companies were also asked about hiring temporary workers. About 67 percent of the employers currently use temporary staff as compared to 69 percent in the last report. Furthermore, 40 percent of the employers plan to maintain this level.

The manufacturing sector employs about 214,700 people in Kentucky as of August 2011, according to the Department of Workforce Investment.