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Export-Intensive Industries Pay More on Average: An Update


David Riker


This article analyzes the weekly earnings in U.S. manufacturing and services industries, based on data for approximately 164,000 workers in 2014. It estimates the earnings premium in export-intensive industries, based on an econometric analysis that combines worker-level data on earnings, education, occupation, and other demographic characteristics from the Current Population Survey with industry-level data on exports and total shipments of manufactures and services. The estimates indicate that export-intensive industries pay more on average and that the export earnings premium is larger for blue collar workers in production and support occupations (they earn a 19.0% premium in export-intensive manufacturing industries and a 17.6% premium in export-intensive services industries) than for white collar workers in management and professional occupations (they earn a 9.9% premium in export-intensive manufacturing industries and a 12.0% premium in export-intensive services industries). Overall, the export earnings premium in 2014 is 16.3% on average in the manufacturing industries and 15.5% on average in the services industries.