Iowa Workers are Educated and Productive

Iowa manufacturers are the driving force behind the states labor market. Fueled by heavy expansion in durable goods production, during the past decade, the number of Iowa manufacturing jobs grew by 3.4 percent and accounted for nearly three-fourths of the state’s employment increase. Today, more than 200,000 Iowans are employed by the 4,000 manufacturers throughout the state.

The manufacturing industry employs one in seven Iowa workers. The percentage of total workforce in manufacturing is 34 percent higher in Iowa (14 percent) than the country as a whole (8.9 percent).

Iowa workers are well-educated and productive. They rank among the best in the nation (14th) in terms of value-added per manufacturing worker.

With an emphasis on advanced manufacturing, Iowa manufacturers employ 17 percent of the state’s total workforce – 36 percent higher than the 11 percent nation’s average - and they are productive generating 17.1 percent of the state GDP – 27 percent greater overall production of U.S. factory workers.

Iowa is a right-to-work state with payroll costs are 22.6 percent below the national average. The average wage for manufacturing workers in Iowa is $49,770 - 85.1 percent of the U.S. manufacturing sector average.

Iowa is among the leading states for unemployment, nearly 64 percent lower than the national average.

With more than 1.66 million employees, Iowa has one of the highest labor force participation rates in the country.