We all know wage growth in this country is next to nothing. It’s one reason why the presidential election season has been so contentious. Employees continue to work harder than ever, while employers hesitate to hire more.
But metal fabricators and other manufacturers have another problem: Some would like to hire more, but they can’t find the skilled talent they need. It’s been this way for years, of course, and politicians know this, which is why legislatures and government administrators are launching programs like the Right Skills Now initiative to address the problem.
If skills are in high demand, many assume that higher pay would follow that demand, and to some extent it has, as reported by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association’s Salary/Wage & Benefit Survey. A code-level welder’s (one certified to certain industry codes) average salary has risen more than 3 percent since 2010--not very impressive, but the growth isn’t nonexistent, as so many people have experienced since the recession.