The States Where Manufacturing Matters Most

Published on Sep 3, 2013

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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USA TODAY had an intriguing look at manufacturing last month in which analysts from 24/7 Wall St. showed the states were manufacturing still matters based on the sector’s share of total economic output. Indiana, Oregon, and Louisiana topped the list. But of course, manufacturing is still a big deal in a lot more than these and the other seven states that the article mentioned.

To give a different perspective on where manufacturing matters the most, we looked at total manufacturing jobs per capita using EMSI’s 2013.3 dataset. And, to complement this, we also looked at the concentration of manufacturing jobs in each state compared to the national share, as measured by location quotient.

In both metrics, Wisconsin and Indiana outpace every other state. Wisconsin has 795 manufacturing jobs per 10,000 people — tops in the nation. Indiana is second (with 745 jobs per 10,000 people) and it has the most concentrated manufacturing workforce in the U.S. — nearly twice the national average, with a location quotient of 1.92.

Washington, D.C. is at the other extreme; it has only 13 manufacturing jobs per 10,000 residents, the lowest in the country. Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, and Alaska also have 150 or fewer manufacturing jobs per 10,000 people.

Two other takeaways from what our data shows (see all states in the table below):

  • Of the 10 states with the most manufacturing jobs per capita, only Arkansas has fewer manufacturing jobs than it did at the start of 2010. That’s an encouraging sign for states where manufacturing is most important to their economies.

  • As 24/7 Wall St. mentioned, in 2012 manufacturing accounted for 27.8% of output ($55.8 billion) in Oregon, second most in the nation. But it ranks 21st in manufacturing jobs per capita (442 per 10,000 people).

The following map shows how manufacturing is concentrated in the lower 48 states.

Note: EMSI’s 2013 job numbers are partial projections based on state and federal data sources. The data comes from EMSI’s 2013.3 QCEW employees dataset, which measures wage-and-salary workers as tracked by the BLS.

State2013 JobsJob Growth/Decline Since 2010% Job Growth/Decline Since 20102013 Average EarningsManufacturing Jobs Per 10,000 People2013 Concentration (Natl. Avg.=1)Wisconsin (WI)458,53729,2357%$67,0637951.89Indiana (IN)491,25143,71710%$71,8167451.92Iowa (IA)217,40116,6148%$66,5807031.62Ohio (OH)664,09143,7837%$70,8975741.46Kansas (KS)165,2895,5183%$66,8435681.39Minnesota (MN)306,01813,9875%$74,9775651.27Michigan (MI)553,60078,24816%$79,7725641.55Kentucky (KY)231,28922,15911%$67,6965221.45Nebraska (NE)97,5565,9516%$55,5165221.18Arkansas (AR)154,289-5,802-4%$53,6655171.49Vermont (VT)32,0041,2054%$68,8875091.18Alabama (AL)248,26811,9445%$64,8365091.51South Dakota (SD)41,8544,89413%$53,9164981.15New Hampshire (NH)65,129-635-1%$80,1724911.17Tennessee (TN)320,40422,0777%$70,6574911.32South Carolina (SC)221,11513,3126%$67,3524601.34Mississippi (MS)135,823-1330%$56,4024521.38Illinois (IL)582,43922,4014%$80,7294501.14Connecticut (CT)161,818-3,811-2%$101,0234481.1North Carolina (NC)442,94711,3253%$67,9874451.24Oregon (OR)174,81011,6097%$78,3524421.17Pennsylvania (PA)566,9916,5361%$73,0924421.13Missouri (MO)249,4406,4063%$66,8014101.06Washington (WA)286,38631,53312%$89,5054081.08Utah (UT)118,7408,5068%$66,2294051.05Rhode Island (RI)40,34570%$67,6023851Maine (ME)50,730580%$64,8113810.97United States11,974,232486,7364%$77,520378Massachusetts (MA)248,594-5,899-2%$101,0833740.84North Dakota (ND)25,1942,64612%$59,7623620.66Idaho (ID)58,4405,31610%$63,3083581.03Oklahoma (OK)135,59712,79810%$65,4443510.97Georgia (GA)352,7799,6683%$67,1993501.01Texas (TX)867,50057,3407%$88,6643260.88California (CA)1,239,3444,6970%$99,1953230.91Louisiana (LA)142,5835,3004%$86,7203070.84Virginia (VA)232,8272,9601%$68,0132810.71Delaware (DE)25,827-310-1%$74,2392780.7New Jersey (NJ)245,668-10,265-4%$98,9972760.72West Virginia (WV)48,306-769-2%$68,8542590.75Colorado (CO)132,8607,3666%$78,8112520.64Arizona (AZ)155,1097,1965%$85,7312320.7New York (NY)443,779-11,910-3%$77,3482260.57Maryland (MD)105,793-9,080-8%$87,0991790.46Montana (MT)18,1061,72311%$60,8351780.46Wyoming (WY)10,0311,31815%$79,7151720.4Florida (FL)313,4205,9212%$68,0861610.47Alaska (AK)11,166-1,569-12%$55,8001500.38Nevada (NV)39,7841,8895%$69,5831410.38New Mexico (NM)28,750-276-1%$71,2571350.41Hawaii (HI)13,3634413%$55,400950.24District of Columbia (DC)847-415-33%$139,857130.01Source: QCEW Employees - EMSI 2013.3 Class of Worker

Data shown in this post comes from Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market data and analysis tool. For more information on EMSI, contact Josh Wright ( Follow Wright on Twitter at @ByJoshWright and EMSI at @DesktopEcon