Iowa Workers are Educated and Productive

Iowa manufacturers are the driving force behind the state’s labor market. Fueled by expansion in both durable and non-durable goods, the manufacturing sector has an average four percent annualized growth for the past five years and accounts for 21 percent of all wages. Today, more than 200,000 Iowans are employed statewide by these 4,000 manufacturers.

The manufacturing industry employs one in six Iowa workers. The percentage of total workforce in manufacturing is 60 percent higher in Iowa (16 percent) than the country as a whole (10 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 16 percent of the state’s total workforce – 60 percent higher than the 10 percent nation’s average - and they are productive generating 18.3 percent of the state GDP – 50 percent greater overall production of U.S. factory workers.

Iowa is a right-to-work state with payroll costs 18.2 percent below the national average. The average wage for manufacturing workers in Iowa is $55,924 - 86 percent of the U.S. manufacturing sector average.

Iowa is among the leading states for unemployment, nearly 38 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.