Work safety paramount in Carolina’s quest for more auto worker jobs

Our injury attorneys in Charlotte and Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys know that while nearly half of all auto worker jobs can be found in just three states – Ohio, Michigan and Indiana – more and more auto makers are transplanting efforts in the South, the Carolinas included.

The Charleston Regional Business Journal reports that nearly 5.5 percent of jobs and 10 percent of South Carolina’s economic output is tied to the automotive industry. And, according to the new state commerce secretary, increasing numbers in both the automotive and manufacturing sectors “will be a priority for the commerce department”.

State officials hoping to lure more automotive job creators to South Carolina say that doing so is the best way to stimulate the state’s job market, particularly for small businesses. The note that one “direct automotive job” leads to an additional 4.5 supporting jobs. Both Greenville and Spartanburg are among the top 10 counties in the state boasting employment in this industry.

It appears that the South Carolina commerce secretary may be on to something. AOL Jobs reports that the auto industry – a sector among the hardest hit by the recession – may now finally be facing a reversal of fortune. In part, the return of the auto worker era is linked to an aging auto worker pool that will need to be replenished by younger, qualified workers.

There is also the bounce back. As the auto industry gets back to pre-recession reality and begins to hire more aggressively, there will be a need for more auto industry workers to fill those positions.

With more jobs, of course, comes a better financial health for Carolina workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that production and workers in non-supervisory automotive industry roles earn relatively high wages – among the highest pay in the nation in fact. Pay rates for this industry span $14 to $39 per hour, depending upon the degree of skill, education and experience a worker brings to the job. Pair that high pay with a generous benefits package and union membership perks, and automotive manufacturing positions offer a boon to the struggling Carolina workforce.

With that said production workers are required to do more than their fair share of heavy lifting and regularly use dangerous high-performance machinery. Working conditions also expose workers to repetitive motion, loud noise, heat and toxic fumes. Because of these factors, automotive industry workers face a higher rate of injury than most other sectors; although recent efforts have done much to create a more ergonomic and user-friendly work environment.

Protecting our workforce means the emphasis must also be on preventing Carolina work accidents, not just creating jobs.

The Lee & Smith injury attorneys in Anderson , Greenville and Spartanburg know that being involved in a serious or fatal Carolina accident, or losing a loved one to a serious or fatal injury accident, can be among the most challenging times in your life. If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious accident, call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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