Friday, July 13, 2007

At least a part of the reason

This is not a knock on autoworkers. If they can get paid above market rates, so be it. But when anyone asks why US auto manufacturers are having trouble, the search might begin by looking at some of these stats from over at
U of M Economics professor tackles tough question of UAW wages - Autoblog: "A tip sent us to the blog of Dr. Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, who points out that hourly union workers at the Big 3 make on average 57.6% more in a year than a university professor with a Ph.D. Using figures from the automakers themselves, Dr. Perry tells us that a union worker at Ford makes $141,020/year including wages and benefits. A worker at General Motors makes $146,520/year and one at Chrysler earns $151,720/year"
Now that is not to say I would want to trade jobs and start making cars, but I have to conclude that pay cuts are probably necessary to make the US Big three more competitive.


Lord said...

The absence of university professors flocking to manufacturing pretty much says that, as high as the pay is, it is still not worth it. Thus there is movement towards lower paying but more attractive positions though there may be a limit on how many such positions are available. It seems reasonable that university professors are really the ones being overpaid through the force of their own guild operations.

Anonymous said...

Of course I would also like to see better conditions for car factory workers, but that information is pretty conclusive that either they do earn a good wage and are being just that bit greedy, or other professions need to catch up first.
However there is another argument that might suggest that we should not put jobs into classes and assune that anyone in education should be or is worth more than a factory worker, especially a forman. Its still open season.

Motoring Safety Blog

Felix said...

Using figures from the automakers themselves? Not the unions, then? Forgive me if I take all of these figures with an enormous rock of salt. For one thing, I'm 95% certain that what the automakers do when they release these figures is take the entire amount of money that they spend on wages and benefits, and then divide it by the number of employees they have. So any severance payments get included -- and, much more importantly, all health and pension benefits to retired workers are included. The numerator includes hundreds of thousands of retired employees, while the denominator excludes them. Which is simply not kosher.