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Recognizing Manufacturing’s Impact on the U.S. Economy

by Adam Grundy,

Oct 04, 2019

Manufacturing Among Top Five U.S. Employers

Manufacturing Day is held annually on the first Friday in October to showcase the contributions of this key economic sector but events are happening all week across the country.

To highlight modern manufacturing careers, companies and educational institutions are encouraged to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

The U.S. Census Bureau will join other agencies by posting important manufacturing content on the Manufacturing Day webpage.

Manufacturing Jobs

The infographics below display the nation’s largest employers by sector and show that manufacturing ranks in the top five.


So how does manufacturing compare to other industries?

Using the average annual payroll per employee by sector within 2016 County Business Patterns, we see that the manufacturing sector has an average annual payroll by employee of $57,266.

In addition, the manufacturing sector employed 11.6 million workers in the United States in 2016

Where Manufacturing Jobs Are

The map below shows where the greatest concentration of manufacturing jobs are located.

Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa had the highest percentage of manufacturing employment of working-age population.


These workers are not only highly skilled, but extremely well-educated. According to the Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey, 29.8% of manufacturing employees ages 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Manufacturing and Exports

How does manufacturing contribute to exports?

According to the Census Bureau’s Preliminary Profile of US Exporting Companies in 2017, nearly five in 10 U.S. exporting dollars come from manufacturers. manufacturing-day-recognizing-manufacturing-impact-on-the-us-economy-figure-3

Quarterly Financial Report

The Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) provides quarterly statistics, such as sales and after-tax profits. It provides data on all manufacturing industries, for both nondurable and durable goods manufacturers.


M3 = Shipments, Inventories & Orders

Manufacturing-related economic indicators also include M3 (Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories & Orders), which provides an even more detailed picture of the manufacturing landscape in the United States.


Adam Grundy is a supervisory statistician in the Census Bureau’s Economic Management Division.

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