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More Jobs, Productivity Seen For U.S. CE Biz

3/27/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The CE industry continues to be a driver of the U.S. economy with robust growth throughout the entire employment spectrum, as well as record-breaking productivity, according to a new report issued today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

“The data CEA released underscores that America's consumer technology sector is influencing all aspects of our economy with strong employment growth and continued productivity gains,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO.

As of December 2005, the CE industry employed approximately 1.9 million people, or 1.4 percent of the U.S. non-farm workforce. Employment is distributed by retail, 574,000; manufacturing, 212,000; transportation, 38,000; and use, 1,073,000. In 2005, the industry added 30,000 jobs to realize a 1.5 percent industry employment increase. Since 1990, industry employment has increased a total of more than 19 percent.

Productivity statistics further highlight the success of the U.S. CE-related industry, CEA said. While general retail productivity increased 52 percent in the 10 years from 1994 to 2004, CE-related retail productivity increased an extraordinary 309 percent. Over the same 10-year period, CE-related manufacturing jumped more than 126 percent, while general U.S. manufacturing productivity increased 49 percent.

Additionally, while U.S. real wage growth has stagnated since 2000, CE-related manufacturing has witnessed the expansion of real wages by nearly 19 percent. In the last five years, CE retailers alone have witnessed an expansion of nearly 4 percent. Moreover, the CE industry's wages are highly competitive when compared to aggregate average manufacturing and retail wages. CEA's report illustrated that CE manufacturers and retailers pay their employees 15 percent and 18 percent more than the aggregate average respectively.

Production worker employment in CE-related manufacturing, as of December 2005, was growing at better than 11 percent year-on-year, which represents the highest year-over-year growth in more than 15 years. What's more, since the end of 2004, CE-related manufacturing has expanded production worker headcount in the U.S. while non-production worker headcount has declined year-over-year. With 30 percent to 40 percent of the consumer electronics market, the U.S. is a natural choice for firms who want to maximize the efficiency of their supply chains. Thus, production work in U.S. CE-related manufacturing is thriving, CEA noted.