Domestic Manufacturing by Region
Historically, American manufacturing has happened in states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Each earned its reputation for production in the 1940s and ’50s. But since their peak in the mid-1950s, this region has earned a different name: the Rust Belt, signifying factory towns and production facilities past their prime.
Now, in the wake of COVID-19, the domestic manufacturing landscape is changing once again. Some areas of the Rust Belt are shaking off the dust of decades-old stagnation, and new epicenters of domestic production are popping up from coast to coast. Here’s a look at domestic manufacturing by region, with data provided courtesy of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
The Midwest: a rejuvenated Rust Belt
The Rust Belt is rediscovering its manufacturing roots, powered by a natural gas boom with origins in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. New energy sector jobs are springing up like wildfire in these states, and several manufacturing sectors are thriving throughout the Midwest, including motor vehicles, metal fabrication, food production, and more.
Manufacturing in the Midwest by the numbers:
- Manufacturing in Indiana accounts for 26.41% of output and 16.37% of workforce.
- Wisconsin producers account for 18.57% of output and 16.97% of employment.
- Michigan manufacturing accounts for 18.55% of output and 14.32% of the state’s jobs.
- Manufacturing in Kentucky accounts for 17.80% of output and 13.29% of employment.
The South: a Sun Belt focused on production
Nicknamed the Sun Belt for its temperate climate, the South is one of the key drivers of domestic manufacturing resurgence. Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia are all making the case for a new era of domestic production as they represent significant forces in the renewable energy, food and beverage, chemical products, and paper products sectors.
Manufacturing in the South by the numbers:
- Manufacturing in Louisiana represents 20.01% of total output and 6.85% of jobs.
- Alabama manufacturing represents 16.83% of output and employs 12.99% of residents.
- Mississippi manufacturing accounts for 16.11% of output and 12.80% of employment.
- Manufacturing in Texas accounts for 13.07% of output and 7.04% of employment.
Out West: high-tech manufacturing in the PNW
Home to powerhouse manufacturers, like Boeing and Honeywell, the Pacific Northwest region has become a staunch contributor to domestic manufacturing. Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are increasingly hanging their hats on the region’s manufacturing capabilities for a variety of sectors, including aerospace, electronics, consumer goods, and more.
Manufacturing in the West by the numbers:
- Manufacturing in Oregon represents 13.55% of output and 10.10% of the workforce.
- Washington manufacturing accounts for 10.64% of the state’s output and 8.04% of jobs.
- Manufacturing in Idaho represents 10.84% of output and 9.15% of employment.
- California manufacturing is 10.36% of the state’s output and 7.57% of its jobs.
Domestic manufacturing is growing
To find evidence of manufacturing’s resurgence, we need only look back a decade. Manufacturing data from 2013 identified 19 states primed for domestic production resurgence, and they correlate with the states currently experiencing an industrial boom.
Manufacturing is thriving across the country. More importantly, it’s thriving even when we account for post-pandemic complications, including supply chain disruptions, rising prices, and unprecedented demand. Looking forward, the 2020s are primed to welcome manufacturing back in a big way.