Ten States Leading America’s FDI Manufacturing Workforce

February 17, 2021

From 2013 to 2018, international companies supported 80 percent of new U.S. manufacturing jobs. Global connections are key to America’s competitiveness in this sector, helping to diversify America’s economy and make it more resilient to downturns. Throughout the pandemic, American employers took extraordinary steps to safeguard their workers and customers and continue to spur America’s economic recovery.

During this five-year span, several states have seen a significant increase in the number of manufacturing workers employed by international companies. Nationwide, FDI manufacturing jobs grew by over 36 percent from 2013 to 2018, with 26 states across the country exceeding this average.

Here are the top ten states with the highest growth of FDI manufacturing jobs from 2013 to 2018:

  1. South Dakota boasts a 66.4 percent growth rate, the highest increase in the country.
  2. Arkansas has grown its FDI manufacturing workforce by 65.8 percent, nearly double the national average. Nestlé recently announced a $100 million expansion plan for its frozen food production plant in Jonesboro. The company will hire at least 100 additional employees within the next two years.
  3. Michigan ranks third due to the 64.4 percent increase in its manufacturing workforce. Magna International has recently invested $35.4 million to expand its seat manufacturing facility in Highland Park, creating nearly 500 jobs.
  4. Iowa ranks fourth in the country, with a 58.2 percent increase in its FDI manufacturing workforce. BAE Systems has significantly grown its manufacturing presence in Iowa with the building of a $139 million facility for manufacturing heavy machinery in Cedar Rapids.
  5. Nebraska has seen a significant increase in its FDI manufacturing workforce, growing at a rate of 58.0 percent.
  6. Indiana has continued to grow its FDI manufacturing workforce, increasing it by 55.7 percent in the past five years. For example, Subaru’s North American production branch, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, invested $158 million to build a new service parts facility and create 350 jobs at its Lafayette manufacturing plant.
  7. Alabama ranks seventh in the country with a 54.9 percent increase. Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA added over 370 jobs in Tuscaloosa County as part of its $53 million manufacturing facility expansion.
  8. South Carolina has grown its FDI manufacturing workforce by 54.8 percent, significantly higher than the national average. BMW opened manufacturing facilities in Spartanburg in the early 1990s and has continually expanded the auto industry in the state – over the past decade, the auto industry has grown by 139 percent in terms of economic impact and job growth. BMW has over 40 suppliers in South Carolina.
  9. Wisconsin has increased its FDI manufacturing workforce by 53.9 percent. Fresenius Kabi, a Germany-based global health care company, invested over $15 million in Pleasant Prairie to build a new regional distribution hub. This investment added 95 new jobs.
  10. Kentucky ranks tenth, with a 53.7 percent increase in its FDI manufacturing workforce. Toyota’s largest facility globally is in Georgetown, where 8,000 workers are employed. The manufacturing facility, which normally manufactures four different automobile models, was transformed to produce and donate personal protective equipment at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as the United States was facing a nationwide shortage.