Energy & Manufacturing Jobs Offer Greatest Economic Impact

Energy & Manufacturing Jobs Offer Greatest Economic Impact

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Fact:  Mississippi’s energy and advanced manufacturing sectors need more skilled workers to accommodate future growth, and aggressive economic growth goals require more robust, sector-specific workforce development.   These sectors need a variety of skilled tradesmen such as welders, industrial technicians, machinists, electrical engineering technicians, linemen, utility technicians, and engineers.  For a significant portion of high-demand skills, educational requirements may be a high school diploma and on the job training, and most of these positions pay well above private sector jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms and quantifies these exact needs.  In 2013, Mississippi Energy Institute interviewed a number of energy and manufacturing executives in Mississippi.  The table and figures below detail some of the specific positions identified by Mississippi employers, with a majority of the positions requiring only a technical-level education. Many interesting comparisons can be made between the energy and statewide job markets.  For example, of the 3,140 net new jobs added between 2012 and 2013, 2,400 (or 76.4%) of them involved one of the above-listed energy-based segments.  The numbers clearly show the importance of the energy sector to job creation in Mississippi.

In addition to the greater number of jobs, the energy sector also boasts a significant increase in sustainable income for its employees.  Shown below, the average income for these technical careers in the energy sector of $46,810 is 33% greater than the average income for the total MS job market of $35,310.  Indeed, if Mississippi workers capitalize upon the substantial opportunities available, the state could see a significant boom in energy-based economic development and an increase in household incomes.

Table 1

Job Title

# Jobs in MS (2012)

 Average Wage

 # Jobs in MS (2013)

% Growth

Chemical Equipment Operator

670

 $45,060

 860

28%

Chemical Technician

340

 $39,980

 400

18%

Electrical Engineering Technician

1,140

 $53,680

 1,340

18%

Gas Plant Operator

120

 $58,660

 50

-58%

Industrial Engineering Technician

310

 $46,730

 330

6%

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

2,710

 $48,550

 3,240

20%

Machinists

1,680

 $38,290

 1,980

18%

Plant and System Operators, Chemical

180

 $45,400

 480

167%

Plant and System Operators, Other

40

 $52,290

 40

0%

Welders

5,870

 $39,460

 6,740

15%

Total Sector

13,060

 $46,810

 15,460

23%

Total MS Employment

1,080,420

 $35,310

 1,083,560

0.29%

Figure 1

NewJobsBreakdown

Figure 2

AverageWagesEnergySector

Sources Cited

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Mississippi, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_ms.htm (visited April 11, 2014).

 

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Mississippi, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ms.htm (visited April 11, 2014).

 

Internal MEI documents

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