Summary


Between 1940 and 2016, employment in manufacturing shifted across America from the Northeast to the Midwest and the Southeast. The industry lost ground in many places and is now the largest employer in only two states—Indiana and Wisconsin. In 1940, 23% of workers were employed in the manufacturing industry, and they were concentrated in 15 northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes states. As the economy shifted toward services at the beginning of the new millennium, the share of employment in manufacturing declined to less than 15%. In 2000, the industry was the largest employer in 18 primarily southeastern and central states. Increased foreign trade and offshoring contributed to continued industry job losses, and by 2016, the share of employment in manufacturing hovered at 10%.

Explore the State Data


Sort through employment and industry change in all 50 states from 1940 to 2016 using the five data visualizations below. Learn which industries changed the most from output to employment, and how those trends played out differently by state.

I Shifts in Employment Share for All Industries

I Shifts in Employment Share for All Industries by State

I Changes in Industry Workforce and Output by State

I Number of Manufacturing Jobs by State and County

I Change in Number of Manufacturing Jobs by State and County

Resources


The Way We Were: The Changing Geography of US Manufacturing finds that the manufacturing industry has lost ground in many places across the US and is now the largest employer in only two states—Indiana and Wisconsin.