Survey shows Kentucky manufacturers plan to hire in 2013
by Brandon Smith
FRANKFORT — Fifty-two percent of Kentucky manufacturers say they plan to hire between one and 19 employees in 2013, according to the recently conducted 2012 Annual Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey.
The survey is sponsored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM), and will be distributed beginning Monday, Nov. 12.
“This study represents data collected from 184 companies in Kentucky representing over 68,000 employees,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment. “It gives us a valuable snapshot of what is happening in the manufacturing industry. It shows that manufacturers are pleased with their workforce and that turnover rates remain fairly low.”
The survey showed that the positions of manufacturing employees included in the survey made an annualized average of $47,486 in 2012. Most companies that responded to the survey — 94 percent — offer health insurance to their employees, while 92 percent of those cover family members as well. Questions about benefits showed that 79 percent of the companies provide nine or more paid holidays per year and 55 percent provide an annual bonus.
“KAM clearly understands the importance of helping the Commonwealth’s manufacturing community control costs, especially when making hiring and promotion decisions,” said Greg Higdon, KAM president and CEO. “KAM’s annual Wage & Benefits Survey Report is a valuable tool for manufacturers to use in their efforts to compensate employees in a fair and competitive manner.”
Sixty-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. This number is up 10 percent from last year. New green products are being developed by 32 percent of these companies.
IQS Research of Louisville collaborated with KAM on the development of the wage and benefits survey for Kentucky’s manufacturing community. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation, Northwest Kentucky Forward, Greater Louisville Inc., Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation and the Foundation for Kentucky Industry 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 2012 - September 2012. Of the employers who participated, 39 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 73 percent of the employers currently use temporary staff as compared to 67 percent in the last report. Furthermore, 45 percent of the employers plan to maintain this level.
The manufacturing sector employs about 217,338 people in Kentucky as of March 2012, according to the Department of Workforce Investment.
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