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Manufacturing Wage Premiums Have Diverged between Production and Nonproduction Workers
A manufacturing wage premium is the average percentage difference between the wage a worker earns in manufacturing and the wage similar workers earn in industries other than manufacturing. Using standard wage regressions, we find that, between 1979 and 2018, the manufacturing wage premium declined much more for production workers (such as machine operators) than for nonproduction workers (such as managers or administrative assistants). As a result, the production-workers’ wage premium was 4 percent during 2015 to 2018, while the nonproduction-workers’ wage premium was 14 percent. The ...