Illinois Manufacturing Plants Have Highest Average Employment

Highest percentage of plants (19%) with 100% union representation

While the average employee count among Great Lakes manufacturers is 240, Illinois plants have an average employee count of 363 (including all staff), according to the 2008 Great Lakes Manufacturing survey of 431 manufacturing facilities conducted by the Manufacturing Performance Institute on behalf of Grant Thornton LLP. In addition to Illinois, states represented in the study were Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"In this study, we found that the Great Lakes manufacturing plants have experienced a worrisome median turnover rate of 8%, but on the other hand, 60% expected plant revenue to increase in 2007," according to Brian Davis, Grant Thornton partner and industry specialist.

Data collected that was specifically relevant to Illinois included:

  • Illinois leads all Great Lakes states in the percentage of plants with 100% union representation at 19% (hourly rate without overtime). The next highest is Indiana with 16%.
  • The average salary for Illinois production workers is $16.46, only below Michigan, with average hourly rates of $17.40.
  • Illinois leads all Great Lakes states in the average starting wage for production workers (hourly rate without overtime) at $12.50. Indiana is second with an average hourly wage of $12.47.
  • When it comes to employee benefits, Illinois leads in a number of categories:
    • Formal employees training programs -- 68.2%
    • Apprenticeship programs -- 27.3%
    • Education reimbursements -- 100%
    • Leadership/supervisor development -- 81.8%
    • Training/team building practices -- 59.1%
    • Recruiting and hiring programs -- 50%

The news isnt all good for Illinois plants. Some less impressive data indicate that:

  • Illinois ranks last in the percentage of plants that give employees 40 or more hours of training at 4.6%. Ohio ranks first at 10.3%.
  • Illinois ranks last in the percentage of plants where 100% of production employees participate in empowered or self-directed work teams at 4.8%. Michigan ranks first with 27.8%.
  • Illinois ranks last in the percentage of plants that offer employee-ownership options at 4.6%. Minnesota leads with 16%.
  • Illinois ranks last in the percentage of plants that have formal safety/health programs at 68.2%. Minnesota ranks first with 96%.
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