CHART: Sizing up Missouri’s auto manufacturing sector

As the United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors entered its 26th day Friday, damage continued to mount for the union workers, the carmaker and even GM suppliers.

The direct effects of the work stoppage are being felt in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas, due to the thousands of workers employed by GM plants in Kansas City, Kansas, and Wentzville.

All told, Missouri had about 11,500 workers in motor vehicle manufacturing as of last year, according to the Economic and Policy Analysis Research Center, or EPARC, at the University of Missouri. (That number does not include workers at the GM plant in Kansas City, Kansas, but it does include workers at Ford’s plant in the Kansas City area.) The 2018 headcount was off significantly from a three-decade high of 20,000 in 1996.

Of the 159,000 workers in Missouri who produced durable goods in 2017, more than 28% were involved in transportation equipment manufacturing, according to EPARC. Automakers accounted for 7.5% of that total in 2017.

Missouri manufacturing workers earned more than $22 per hour in 2017, according to EPARC. That number increased by almost 39% from 2001. Earnings for Missouri manufacturing workers were about 7% higher than the national average in 2017.

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