- In 2017, the manufacturing sector in Wisconsin produced $59.1
billion in economic output, according to the U.S. Bureau of
Economic Analysis, the most recent year for which figures are
available. That year, manufacturers employed 16.4 percent of the
state workforce, nearly twice the national average of 8.6 percent
and second only to Indiana.
addition, overall manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin still provide
significantly higher than average pay despite factory workers
being less likely to have a college degree. The average
manufacturing job in the state paid $56,980 in 2017 compared to
the average annual wage of $47,250 for all workers. Jobs in
production, or on the factory line, provide relatively strong
wages though they pay less than the average across all state
occupations. Manufacturing workers are also more likely to belong
to a union than other Wisconsin workers.
industry also accounts for the vast majority of state exported
goods. The U.S. Census Bureau reports manufacturing contributed
$20.8 billion of Wisconsin’s $22.3 billion in total exported
goods in 2017, or just over 93 percent — above the national
average. Manufactured goods have consistently made up that
percentage or more of state exports over the past decade. The
industry’s 2017 state exports were also 58.7 percent more than
in 2000, even after accounting for inflation.
information is a service of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the
state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local
government research and civic education. Learn more at www.wispolicyforum.com.