Workforce by the Numbers is our monthly look at the statistics and data that are shaping the workforce in the Charlotte region.
The Charlotte region led North Carolina and the United States in manufacturing job growth over the last five years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics1. Between 2010 and 2015, manufacturing sector jobs grew at an annual of rate of 2.5 percent in the Charlotte region, while North Carolina grew at 0.9 percent and the United States at 1.2 percent.
Employers added approximately 11,829 jobs in the last five years, bringing the total number of manufacturing jobs in the Charlotte region to 101,612.
According to the Charlotte Chamber, nearly a quarter of manufacturing firms in North Carolina are based in the Charlotte region, and North Carolina is the ninth largest manufacturing state in the country.
The average annual wage for manufacturing workers increased as well: in 2010, the average salary of manufacturing jobs in the region was $47,952; today, it’s a record high of $53,275 in the Charlotte region.
Job availability in the Charlotte region’s manufacturing industry is expected to grow over the next five years, largely as a result of the aging manufacturing workforce. In 2013, more than 23 percent of manufacturing workers in Charlotte were older than 55 years. Across all other industries, workers older than 55 accounted for only 18.5 percent of all workers. As the manufacturing workforce ages, replacement demand for them will provide jobs.
According to the Chamber, a recent university study showed that North Carolina workers were the most productive in the nation, generating an average of $5.91 for every $1 in labor costs, making Charlotte attractive to manufacturing firms both as a location for headquarters and for production facilities.
Charlotte’s large airport and logistics network, pro-business climate, skilled workforce, low cost of living and low worker unionization rate will continue to attract manufacturing companies to expand or relocate, ensuring growth in this sector for years to come.
According to Wanted Analytics, September saw 639 new manufacturing jobs advertised online in the region; 439 of those positions were located in Charlotte. Employers advertising the most new positions available were Coca-Cola, Snyder’s-Lance, Schaeffler Group, Daimler Trucks North America, Ingersoll-Rand and Tyson Foods.
The top advertised positions were production supervisors, marketing managers, industrial engineers, computer systems analysts, machine operating supervisors and production and planning clerks. According to the Charlotte Chamber, the five largest manufacturing occupations in the region are team assemblers, production workers and supervisors, assemblers, inspectors and machinists.
While North Carolina has historically been known as a state with a large traditional manufacturing presence such as furniture and textiles, advanced manufacturing is projected to lead the growth trend in Charlotte’s manufacturing jobs over the next five years. New sub-sectors such as transportation equipment, fabricated metal product, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace product and chemical manufacturing are expected to bring the most new jobs and advanced technologies to the Charlotte manufacturing workplace2. These emerging manufacturing sub-sectors, using advanced technology, require a skilled workforce and come with high-paying wages that will continue to boost the Charlotte region’s economy.
1 JobsEQ, Chmura Economics
2 JobsEQ, Chmura Economics
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