Survey: Ky. manufacturers plan to hire next year

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) -- Several Kentucky manufacturers say they plan to add new jobs next year.

The Daily News (http://bit.ly/U2sAMF ) in Bowling Green reports the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers Wage and Benefits Survey found that 52 percent of manufacturers who responded have plans to hire up to 19 workers in 2013.

The survey is sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet's Department of Workforce Investment. More than 184 manufacturers that have more than 68,000 workers responded to the questions. Kentucky had 217,338 workers in its manufacturing sector as of March, according to the workforce investment department.

The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers says companies use information gathered in the survey to assess wages and ensure they are competitive.

"We use this to help our existing companies look at where they fit in comparison with other manufacturers in the state in terms of wages and benefits," said Jessica Thompson, spokeswoman for the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, which encouraged companies to participate.

She said 22 companies from the Barren River Area Development District, which includes 10 counties, turned in answers to the questionnaire.

"We also use it as a resource for attracting other projects," Thompson said. "When we are working with companies to locate here, we have this information as a resource."

According to manufacturers across the state who did participate, they paid their employees an average of $47,486 in 2012, and 94 percent offered health insurance.

The results are a decrease from last year's survey in which 58 percent of the 228 companies participating said they intended to hire in 2012. That survey showed manufacturing employees made an average of $48,609 annually.

Bowling Green Chamber President Ron Bunch said in a statement that the information gathered by the survey is important.

"More than three-fourths of new jobs come from existing businesses, and we recognize it is integral to economic growth that we aid them by providing resources and information such as the KAM survey," he said.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.bgdailynews.com

Copyright Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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