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ResourceMFG | Manufacturing Workforce Specialists
7 key takeaways from the Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker survey

In the manufacturing industry, as in every other sector, your workers are the lifeblood of your business. As such, it's vital to make sure you are continually meeting their needs and expectations, especially as the manufacturing skills gap continues to grow.

Are you doing enough to attract and retain the best talent you can find? Reading the 2021 edition of the Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker Survey from EmployBridge will help you see what they're thinking, and meet them where they are.

Read on for some critical insights from the latest survey.

1) Employees would trade an extra $1 per hour for an extra week off

Crunch the numbers on this: If you gave a $1/hour raise to an employee working 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year (including time off, of course), that costs you an extra $2,080 per year. But if you instead give them an extra week off, the added cost for a worker making $15 per hour is an extra $600. In all, 73% of respondents said they'd take the week off over the extra $1,480.

2) Many remain concerned about COVID

Despite the fact that the pandemic is winding down in most parts of the country, 71% of workers say they are still just as worried about their health and safety on the job as they were last year.

3) Jobs still need to come back post-pandemic

Blue-collar workers suffered a disproportionate number of job losses over the past year-plus. The top quarter of earners (mostly white-collar workers) saw their employment numbers dip 4%. As for the bottom 75% of earners, their employment numbers fell 17%.

4) Workers value higher pay above all else

What is the biggest factor in a worker accepting a job offer? Pay, and it's not even close. In all, 32% of respondents said this was their No. 1 concern, well ahead of the two factors tied for second: job security and shift/schedule, both of which checked in at 12%.

5) Hourly wages are rising sharply

Just five years ago, the average blue-collar job in our survey paid $11.35 per hour. Today, that number is $16.58, and this pay is actually down slightly from 2020's $16.68.

6) A 'parent shift' could bolster your workforce

Many people would like to take on blue-collar work but have young children in school whom they have to care for during the day. To reach those who say family obligations keep them from working, you might set yourself apart by introducing a part-time shift of 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

7) Workers want the opportunity to advance

Nearly half of all blue-collar workers say that in two or three years, they want to be working toward a degree or transitioning into a leadership role with their employer. Offering training and opportunities for advancement are some of the top ways your company can get workers to stick around long-term.

Looking for more information? Download your copy of the 2021 Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker Survey today.

Apply now to find your next manufacturing job!