Manufacturers’ annual survey shows local wages trending up

The Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) has released its annual Employee Wage and Benefit Survey report.

DRMA has released the survey for more than a decade. One observation to be gleaned from the latest survey is that wages are indeed rising, said Angelia Erbaugh, DRMA president.

“The wages are trending up, and other components of the compensation are, too,” she said.

Results of the 2021 survey help companies determine their competitiveness in the industry and offers a look at best practices. The survey covers trends in compensation, employee benefits, work schedules and recruitment and retention strategies.

Companies are identified when they respond to the survey but published results are aggregate, Erbaugh said

She said DRMA staff does not have access to individual company information. Published results identify companies by number of employees, not names.

Erbaugh said she believes that if companies are going to attract any workers, they have to compete with all companies, no matter what the size of those competing companies.

And manufacturers are often competing with logistics and distribution businesses in the Dayton area, she added. “Our members are competing with all industries for employees.”

“Paying people fairly is good for business,” Erbaugh said in a statement. “Underpay, and employees will eventually look for a better offer. Overpay, and the payroll budget and profitability will suffer. That is why companies use market data, such as our Wage and Benefit Survey, to research the value of their jobs.”

Jim Bowman, owner of Dayton manufacturer Noble Tool LLC, called the survey “a benchmarking tool for us.”

“We want to offer a total compensation package that is competitive in the region, and then add to that the exciting teaming environment that Noble Tool has to offer in order to attract the best and brightest employees,” Bowman said. “We want Noble Tool to be one of the manufacturing employers of choice in the Dayton region, and the survey supports that goal.”

The survey report is available to DRMA members for $250 and to non-members for $400.

Member companies include manufacturers in Butler and Clark counties, according to its website.

To buy a copy, contact DRMA at (937) 949-4000 or email

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