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Illinois Manufacturing Jobs Decreasing

Posted on August 28, 2008

Illinois manufacturing jobs are on a downward spiral, and the industry is expected to continue to decrease.

Illinois‘ manufacturing industry employed 669,400 people in July 2008, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, a decrease of .8 percent from last year.

Employment in Illinois’ manufacturing industry is expected to decline through 2014, according to an article by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Manufacturing layoffs in aging industries are expected to be partially offset by job gains in those industries in which Illinois has a competitive advantage.

“Many job openings in the production occupations will be due to replacement of retiring workers,” the article notes. “Implementation of labor saving machinery such as computer-controlled machine tools and robots has reduced employment levels during the past several decades.

“Employment opportunities will be favorable for machinists and welders,” the article continues. “A significant number of job openings are also expected for cutting, punching, and press machine operators and molding/casting machine operators.”

Possible career options for employees in the manufacturing industry include:

  • general maintenance and repair workers 1,427 annual openings and a median salary of $36,858
  • first-line supervisors of production and operating workers with 706 annual openings and a median salary of $49,972
  • industrial truck and tractor operators with 746 annual openings and a median salary of $28,937
  • first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers with 643 annual openings and a median salary of $58,524
  • welders, cutters, solderers and brazers with 421 annual openings and a median salary of $32,431
  • electrical and electronic equipment assemblers with 243 annual openings and a median salary of $23,575
  • industrial machinery mechanics with 157 annual openings and a median salary of $41,160
  • machinists with 567 annual openings and a median salary of $33,368
  • cutting, punching and press machine setters, operators and tenders with 365 annual openings and a median salary of $25,754
  • molding, coremaking and casting machine setters, operators and tenders with 272 annual openings and a median salary of $24,195
  • computer-controlled machine tool operators with 291 annual openings and a median salary of $32,995
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