Flat U.S. Wages Help Fuel Rebound in Manufacturing The celebrated revival of U.S. manufacturing employment has been accompanied by a less-lauded fact: Wages for many manufacturing workers aren't keeping up with inflation. The wage lag is a key factor contributing to the rebounding competitiveness of U.S. industry. A recent uptick in factory employment and the return of some production to U.S. shores from abroad both added jobs that probably otherwise wouldn't exist. But sluggish wages also are squeezing workers' incomes and spending. That, in turn, hurts retailers who target middle-income earners and restrains the vigor of the economic recovery. Flat U.S. Wages Help Fuel Rebound in Manufacturing So assuming this were a trend, would you rather see more jobs at somewhat lower wages or less jobs but maintaining the pre-recession wage levels?