Manufacturing jobs employed 12 million workers in 2013 — roughly 8.8 percent of the U.S. workforce — according to a new report from our friends at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The report also examines just how important these jobs are to the American middle class — and includes these key facts.
1. Manufacturing workers without a college degree make $1.78 more per hour than non-manufacturing workers without a degree. That wage premium amounts to more than $3,700 annually.
2. Manufacturing was responsible for 68 percent (worth $208 billion) of all U.S. business research and development spending in 2012.
3. Manufacturing led to $1.4 trillion in exports in 2013.
4. Along with the 12 million people directly employed by manufacturing, the sector supported 17.1 million indirectly in 2013, about 21.3 percent of total U.S. employment.
5. The top five states for manufacturing jobs, based on share of total state employment: Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Alabama.
6. The top five congressional districts for manufacturing jobs are Indiana’s 3rd, Indiana’s 2nd, Wisconsin’s 6th, California’s 17th, and Indiana’s 6th. Every district is represented by a Republican, except for California’s 17th.
7. But sadly, the United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing jobs between March 1998 and December 2013, due to the weak recovery from the Great Recession and growing trade deficits with countries such as China.
8. The top five states that have been hardest hit by manufacturing job loss are North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Michigan.
BONUS: You can help strengthen U.S. manufacturing and support the middle class! Tell your Members of Congress to support implementation of a National Manufacturing Strategy.