From 2014 to 2019, international companies supported 69 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. Nationwide, 35.7 percent of FDI supported jobs are in the manufacturing sector, with 24 states exceeding this average.
Leading America’s foreign direct investment (FDI) manufacturing workforce are ten states:
1. Michigan boasts the highest amount of manufacturing jobs as a percentage of total FDI jobs at 63.8 percent. Germany-based BASF recently celebrated the production of its one billionth component at its Wyandotte, Michigan, materials plant. BASF supports a workforce of over 17,000 people in North America.
2. Arkansas ranks second in the nation, with 63.7 percent of all FDI jobs created falling in the manufacturing sector. In 2021, L’Oréal USA invested $12 million into expanding its North Little Rock plant, adding 45 employees to the 350 full-time manufacturing employees at the facility. The Arkansas factory is the largest color cosmetics facility in the L’Oréal Group.
3. Kentucky’s FDI manufacturing employment makes up 63 percent of all jobs created by international companies in the state. Bridgestone America subsidiary, Firestone Industrial Products, invested $50 million into its Williamsburg, Kentucky, automotive manufacturing plant. The expansion will create 250 new full-time positions, adding to its existing workforce of 500 people.
4. South Dakota trails Kentucky closely with 62.9 percent of all the state’s FDI jobs being in the manufacturing sector.
5. Indiana holds the fifth highest amount of manufacturing jobs as a percentage of total FDI jobs at 58.7 percent. Toyota Motor North America is investing $803 million into its Princeton, Indiana, assembly plant. The project is expected to create approximately 1,400 new jobs by the end of 2023.
6. Iowa ranks sixth, with 55 percent of all FDI jobs created falling in the manufacturing sector. BAE Systems has grown its manufacturing presence in Iowa by building a $139 million facility in Cedar Rapids, creating 60 new jobs.
7. Wisconsin and Alabama rank seventh in the country with 54.9 percent of all jobs provided by international companies being in the manufacturing sector. In Wisconsin, Nestlé invested $70 million into its Burlington factory, creating more than 100 new positions in the area. In Alabama, Mazda Toyota manufacturing hired more than 1,600 new employees at its Limestone County plant.
9. Nebraska’s FDI manufacturing employment makes up 54.2 percent of all jobs created by international companies in the state.
10. South Carolina ranks tenth on our list, with more than half, 54.1 percent, of the state’s FDI jobs in the manufacturing sector. Volvo is expanding its electric vehicle manufacturing at its Ridgeville, South Carolina, facility with a $118 million investment.