Which states rank best for manufacturing?

Indiana’s Ball State University recently released its 2018 Manufacturing & Logistics Report Card, which shows how each state ranks among its peers in categories that are of particular interest to site selection experts for the manufacturing and logistics industries.

So, in selecting manufacturing sites, experts look to factors that can affect where they recommend new plants would be most productive and beneficial for the inquiring company.

One important factor is a state’s manufacturing industry health.

The production of goods holds particular interest in the US economy. Manufacturing firms are not necessarily reliant on local demand for goods and are therefore footloose. Their location depends more on local factors such as the quality and availability of the labor force, transportation infrastructure, non-wage labor costs, access to innovative technologies, and the cost of doing business.

Manufacturing is the production of both consumer durable goods (e.g. automobiles, electronics, and home appliances that last for years) and consumer non-durable goods (e.g. clothing, processed foods, and other goods that are consumed after use). To measure manufacturing industry health, Ball State says they include three variables:

  • the share of total income earned by manufacturing employees in each state
  • the wage premium paid to manufacturing workers relative to the other states’ employees
  • the share of manufacturing employment per capita

Which states rank best for manufacturing?  Here are Ball State’s scores:

And here’s where to find their 2018 state by state tallies: