#420. Manufacturing Concentrations Around the USA

Posted on | The Agurban
Manufacturing Concentrations around the USA

This past month the U. S. Department of Commerce released the report 
“The Geographic Concentration of Manufacturing Across the United States.”  It provides a fascinating look at one of the bright spots in the ongoing economic recovery.

In 2010, there were 629 counties where earnings paid to manufacturing employees exceeded 20% of the total earnings. States with over 30 counties were Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa and Kentucky. Rural and micropolitan counties accounted for 425 of the 629 counties in the study.

Indiana, with 50 counties cited, has 22.3% of their total earnings coming from their 13.1% of employment base in manufacturing. Those employed in manufacturing earn 70% more than average in Indiana. There was a similar increase in wages for manufacturing in WI (up 56%); Iowa (66%); Ohio (60%); Michigan (69%); and Alabama (51%).

While manufacturing accounts for 11.9% of the U. S.’s GDP, from 2009 to 2011 it accounted for more than 25% of the overall growth in GDP during the same period of time. Over 500,000 manufacturing jobs were added since the lows of 2009.

This quote from the report summarized why we are so enthused about the impact of manufacturing in rural America: “Manufacturing is not isolated from the rest of the economy, and in places where a significant portion of economic activity is due to manufacturing, other types of business benefit. In other words, the presence of manufacturing in a community generates direct and indirect jobs and confers additional economic benefits that exceed the earnings and employment measures described above. As the economy continues to recover, the hope and expectation is that manufacturing will continue its rebound and contribute to the generation of more relatively high paying jobs.”

At Agracel, we own manufacturing plants (leased to a host of various firms) in 48 counties. Of those, 21 were included in this study, in the
states of AL, IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MS, OH and SC. In those 21 counties manufacturing jobs account for 27% of county earnings, even though they only account for 17% of total jobs. But, those jobs earn 58% more than the average!