Survey shows factory hiring plans

A majority of manufacturers in Central Pennsylvania intend to hire more people over the next year, according to a survey conducted by The Manufacturer’s Association, based in York.

The Annual Wage & Salary Survey for 2017, which was released Thursday, used data from about 70 companies throughout the southcentral Pennsylvania region. Nearly 70 percent of the respondents were from York County, with companies in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties also weighing in.

Amanda King, a senior human resources representative for the association, said employers are finding stronger competition for good workers, especially as warehouse and distribution companies continue to grow in the area.

While nearly 60 percent of the survey respondents expect to add workers over the next year, about 25 percent expect their numbers to stay the same and a small percentage expect cutbacks.

The survey also showed that 43 percent of the companies are having difficulty hiring skilled hourly workers. That trend isn’t new, and manufacturing trade associations statewide have been pushing public education campaigns to promote manufacturing as offering good, family-friendly wages.

The survey showed that turnover of hourly workers is an average of about 9.5 percent annually.

Here are some highlights concerning wages:

  • Wages for administrative and office support positions are increasing an average of about 2.3 percent for larger companies and 3.9 percent for employers with fewer than 100 people.
  • Wage increases for engineering, scientific and technical support positions were 3.7 percent for small companies, 2.7 percent for companies with 101 to 300 workers and 2.6 percent for companies with more than 300 workers.
  • Managers and supervisors saw increases ranging from 2.4 percent for companies with more than 300 workers to 4.1 percent for companies with fewer than 100 workers.
  • Production, maintenance and service positions saw increases of 2.4 percent in the larger companies and about 3.6 percent in companies with fewer than 100 workers.

The last survey was conducted in 2015, King said.

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