Does Manufacturing Matter to You? It Better.

Why? Because almost everything we use and enjoy on a daily basis, from clothing and furniture to equipment for transportation and entertainment, was manufactured somewhere. It may have been made by a husband-and-wife team in their living room, or by a small team in a rented storefront, or by a multi-national corporation in a state-of-the-art factory, but the products we use did not spring into being overnight by our wishing for them. From our computers to our telephones to our automobiles, from our houses to our schools to our workplaces, manufacturing matters because we rely on it every day.

Manufacturing matters in North Carolina because our manufacturers lead the world in many products and industries. North Carolina has been the most productive manufacturing state in the Southeast for over a decade. In addition to making the products we all use, our manufacturers employ North Carolinians in challenging and rewarding work and provide the basis for stable, diverse communities.

Manufacturing Matters to North Carolina because:

  • North Carolina ranks 9th in the nation for its contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on data for 2015.
  • North Carolina is 5th in the nation for manufacturing, producing 4.6% of total manufacturing contribution.
  • North Carolina leads the Southeast in manufacturing.
  • Out of all industrial sectors, manufacturing leads the state in GDP contribution at 20%. The closest sector to follow, real estate, rental and leasing, contributes 11.4%.
  • Manufacturing employs 460,000 workers in the state.
  • The weekly wages in manufacturing place it 8th among the state’s 19 industrial sectors. Manufacturing wages are higher on average than healthcare and social assistance, transportation and construction.
  • Chemical product manufacturing provides the highest contribution to state GDP while Food Production ranks second.  However, Food Production employs the most people within manufacturing, with chemical production a close second.
  • Small manufacturers are the backbone of the sector. Of the 10,400 manufacturing companies in North Carolina, 80% have fewer than 50 employees and 51% have 9 or fewer employees.

Manufacturing Matters to the U.S. as a whole, too, as the National Association of Manufacturers points out:

  • In 2012, U.S. manufacturing produced over 17% of the world’s manufactured products.
  • Manufacturing produced $1.87 trillion of value in 2012 — an increase of $140 billion —11.9% of U.S. GDP.
  • Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.2 million jobs in the U.S. — about one in six private sector jobs.
  • U.S. manufacturers perform two-thirds of all private research and development in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.

So, regardless of who you are or where you live, whether you make products or use them, Manufacturing Matters.