Each October we celebrate National Manufacturing Month, which kicks off the first Friday in October for National Manufacturing Day. The event is an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute. According to the U.S. Census, “MFG Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders. MFG Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.”

With the help of our colleagues at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and a few online resources, we’ve pulled together some statistics that help to illustrate the national, state, regional, and local perspective of the impact that manufacturers and manufacturing careers have on the economy.

Let’s start at the top with the following national statistics:

  • For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $2.74 is added to the economy. (Source: NAM calculations using 2018 IMPLAN data)
  • In 2019, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $88,406, including pay and benefits. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.4 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. (Source: Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute)

Bringing it home to Pennsylvania, here are some stats from the Keystone State:

  • PA’s manufacturing industry ranks 8th in the nation. (Source: PA DCED)
  • Manufacturing contributes $93.7 billion to economy with Made in PA products. (Source: PA DCED)
  • The sector has 564,700+ employees in the state. (Source: PA DCED)
  • Manufacturing wages pay an average of $64,000, which is 10% higher than the average wage across PA. (Source: PA DCED)

Taking it down to the regional level, here is what manufacturing looks like in the Lehigh Valley:

  • For the private-sector economy, manufacturing in Lehigh Valley represents 18% of GDP. (Source: LVEDC)
  • The manufacturing sector grew by $385 million from 2017-2018. (according to LVEDC)
  • 3,500+ manufacturing jobs were added in the Valley over the last 5 years. (Source: LVEDC)
  • For manufacturing, Lehigh Valley ranks 48 among 351 metropolitan markets reporting manufacturing GDP. The region is a top 50 manufacturing market in the country. (Source: LVEDC)
  • The sector has 34,500 employees (2019 report), which is almost 12% of Lehigh Valley employment. (Source: LVEDC)
  • It is the second largest sector in Lehigh Valley for both employment and economic output – second to health care for employment and second to finance and real estate for economic output. (Source: LVEDC)

And when it comes to the City of Allentown, here is what manufacturing means to our residents, employees, and employers:

  • Employment in Allentown’s manufacturing sector: 2,992. (Source: Chmura Economics JobsEQ®)
  • Manufacturing jobs as a percentage of total employment in Allentown: 6.2% (Source: Chmura Economics JobsEQ®)
  • Five-year employment change: 358 (Source: Chmura Economics JobsEQ®)
  • The median salary for Allentown Production Occupations is $39,900 (manufacturing jobs which exclude management and professional roles) (Source: Chmura Economics JobsEQ®)
  • Manufacturing is Allentown’s sixth biggest sector by employment. (Source: Chmura Economics JobsEQ®)

It’s clear that manufacturing supports the economy of the region and the city, as well as the quality of life for residents working in the industry. It’s one of the reasons why AEDC was created – to champion manufacturing in the City of Allentown. We do this through our Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, Urban Made, and Urban Sites Programs. These three core initiatives allow us to help businesses grow, receive the support they need, and find a home in Allentown.