Campus News

Vinson survey provides insight into NE Georgia’s manufacturing sector

A recent survey of manufacturers in the 11-county area surrounding Athens indicates that larger manufacturers are generally more optimistic about increased employment and offer employees greater benefits than their smaller counterparts.

“The Report of the Wage and Benefit Survey of Manufacturers in Eleven Northeast Georgia Counties” provides information about 113 nonexempt (overtime-eligible) job categories, including wage information, employees’ access to child care and the extent of wellness programs and educational assistance available for workers.

The study, conducted by UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, analyzes survey results from 72 employers in Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Hall, Jackson, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton counties.

The larger the manufacturer, the more they are generally optimistic about increased employment over the next six months, the study showed. Large manufacturers-companies that employ 75 or more people-also are more likely than smaller firms to have noticed increases in the number of candidates applying for positions in the past six months.

Nearly all large companies and medium-size manufacturers (those with 15-74 workers) currently offer health insurance to employees; however, a minority of small companies, those with 14 or fewer employees, provides health benefits. The prevalence of other benefits also increases with the size of the manufacturer. For example, almost all large and medium-size manufacturers offer retirement plans while most small manufacturers do not. Paid sick leave is more likely to be offered as the size of the manufacturer increases. A large majority of manufacturers of all sizes provide employees with paid vacation.