I am not asking for specific numbers of any production plant. I want to know the general direct worker/employee ratio of a plant.

Example: if there are 1000 employees working usually 700 of them are direct workers etc.

I am looking for estimates backed up with sources or personal experience. Also there may be multiple shifts in a production plant so I am looking for the ratio in a single shift since all the jobs may not get a night shift. The plants I am interested in are the ones that mass produce for international brands. Including the country the plant is in would also be helpful for categorizing the information.

Direct worker means a worker directly working on the production line while employee means all the the people getting paid in that plant.

Edit: Added more information.

  • $\begingroup$ I suggested when you posted this in the Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Stack that the Workplace stack may be better... see mechanics.stackexchange.com/q/60341/10976 $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Oct 29 '18 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike Yeah I posted there also, thanks for the suggestion by the way. $\endgroup$ – Working Student Oct 29 '18 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ I see that you are having troubles finding a good place to ask this question, it seems as if no community is for for it. Maybe you can ask where to ask on the stackexchange meta: meta.stackexchange.com/questions. See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/168103/… $\endgroup$ – user190081 Oct 29 '18 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ @user190081 Thanks for the suggestion! I asked there now. $\endgroup$ – Working Student Oct 29 '18 at 21:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You're going to end up with two vastly different percentages between heavily automated factories vs 'classic' assembly lines. In the former, nearly all staff is 'support' - maintenance, logistics, administration, and the number of employees is quite low. In the latter the number of the same is similar, but there's a throng of direct workers. And user18085's claim 'Nowadays factories are virtually completely automated.' is blatantly wrong - a large number of older factories still in operation employs a huge number of workers. $\endgroup$ – SF. Oct 30 '18 at 2:18

Below is a breakdown for the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Transmission plant in Kokomo, Indiana USA. (Note: Hourly = Direct, salaried = Indirect)

Employment: 3,830 (3,411 hourly; 419 salaried)

Floor Space: 3.1 million square feet

Acreage: 110 acre site with casting plant

Transmission Plant I

Employment: 2,230 (1,950 hourly, 280 salaried)

Floor Space: 1.2 million square feet

Acreage: 233

The plant is fairly automated. Below are some video links of the plant.

Fiat Chrysler Transmission Plant 1

Click on image for a larger version of the image.

Fiat Chrysler Transmission Plant 2

Click on image for a larger version of the image.

Additional details and video can be found here and here

  • $\begingroup$ Nice data, but it doesn't list direct and indirect separately. $\endgroup$ – Nick Alexeev Oct 30 '18 at 1:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NickAlexeev, Hourly would be equivalent to direct, and salaried is same is direct per the question. This is how is classified in the US automotive industry, per the UAW verbiage. It is difficult find the shift related split because that changes depending on demand. $\endgroup$ – Mahendra Gunawardena Oct 30 '18 at 2:31

Nowadays factories are virtually completely automated. See for example tesla.

Although there may be people watching the machines they generally arent needed. Most people there would be janitors, admins, safety inspectors and so on rather than directly useful employees.

  • $\begingroup$ Tesla tried to fully automate their factory which was one of the reasons why they couldn't produce as fast as intended, in fact they needed to roll back to less automation to finish enough cars. If you watch a video of for example Daimler factories, you'll notice that quite a lot of work is still done by humans, 800k employees in the german car industry are not all janitors $\endgroup$ – OpticalResonator Oct 29 '18 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, a significant portion of the work done in car factories still involves human labor. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Oct 29 '18 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ Safety inspectors are useful, once you loose a finger to a stupid mistake you tend to listen to them and follow safety procedures etc... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Oct 30 '18 at 5:08

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