Industries at a Glance

Primary Metal Manufacturing: NAICS 331

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About the Primary Metal Manufacturing subsector

The primary metal manufacturing subsector is part of the manufacturing sector.

Industries in the Primary Metal Manufacturing subsector smelt and/or refine ferrous and nonferrous metals from ore, pig or scrap, using electrometallurgical and other process metallurgical techniques. Establishments in this subsector also manufacture metal alloys and superalloys by introducing other chemical elements to pure metals. The output of smelting and refining, usually in ingot form, is used in rolling, drawing, and extruding operations to make sheet, strip, bar, rod, or wire, and in molten form to make castings and other basic metal products.

North American Industry Classification System

The primary metal manufacturing subsector consists of these industry groups:

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment and unemployment in primary metal manufacturing. While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment and Unemployment

Data series Back
data
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

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397.0 398.1 (P) 399.8 (P) 401.5

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees (seasonally adjusted)

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308.6 309.6 (P) 311.5 (P) 313.0

Unemployment

Unemployment rate

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3.0% 5.1% 3.5% 4.4%

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2013

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

10,790

First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers

17,770

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

12,190

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

19,150

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

13,030

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

14,380

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for primary metal manufacturing.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in primary metal manufacturing.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

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data
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Average hourly earnings

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$25.18 $24.97 (P) $25.09 (P) $25.45

Average weekly hours

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43.4 43.4 (P) 43.5 (P) 42.6

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

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data
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014
Jul.
2014

Average hourly earnings

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$22.32 $22.21 (P) $22.24 (P) $22.29

Average weekly hours

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44.2 44.5 (P) 44.3 (P) 44.2

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2013
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

$15.54 $16.13 $32,310 $33,560

First-line supervisors/managers of production and operating workers

$27.07 $28.19 $56,310 $58,640

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

$18.18 $18.79 $37,810 $39,090

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

$19.72 $19.70 $41,010 $40,980

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

$15.45 $16.19 $32,130 $33,670

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

$19.32 $19.47 $40,180 $40,510

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in primary metal manufacturing. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2009 2010 2011 2012

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

16 17 24 24

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

3.2 3.4 3.5 3.5

Cases involving days away from work

1.5 1.6 1.8 1.6

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.8 1.8 1.7 1.9

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The import price index reflects the percentage change in prices paid to foreign producers for their goods and services within the U.S., while the export price index measures the percentage change in prices received by U.S. producers for goods and services sold outside the U.S.

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data
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014

Producer price index

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(P) 199.1 (P) 200.0 (P) 200.8 (P) 201.0

Percent change from previous month

(P) -0.4% (P) 0.5% (P) 0.4% (P) 0.1%

Import index

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157.2 157.5 158.2 157.9

Percent change from previous month

0.9% 0.2% 0.4% -0.2%

Export index

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148.8 150.3 (R) 148.6 146.5

Percent change from previous month

1.7% 1.0% (R) -1.1% (R) -1.4%

Footnotes
(R) Revised
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes, International Price Program)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in primary metal manufacturing. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

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data
1st quarter
2013
2nd quarter
2013
3rd quarter
2013
4th quarter
2013

Number of establishments

Private industry

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(P) 5,554 (P) 5,574 (P) 5,585 (P) 5,591

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

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data
2009 2010 2011 2012

Labor productivity index, output per hour

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105.494 124.980 122.676 123.643

Percent change from previous year

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-12.4 18.5 -1.8 0.8

Labor index, total labor hours

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69.056 73.366 80.311 81.332

Percent change from previous year

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-19.8 6.2 9.5 1.3

Output index

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72.850 91.693 98.522 100.561

Percent change from previous year

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-29.7 25.9 7.4 2.1

Unit labor costs index

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119.413 103.842 105.294 108.326

Percent change from previous year

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16.4 -13.0 1.4 2.9

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

Other BLS Resources

Career Guide to Industries

See steel manufacturing in the Career Guide to Industries.

Data extracted on: August 01, 2014

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