Manufacturing In America: 5 States Get 'A' Grades, 4 'Fail'

NEW YORK, NY — A new university study on the health of manufacturing in America gave “A” grades to five states and failing grades to four others. The study, published Wednesday by Ball State University, graded the health of each state’s manufacturing industry based on three categories: share of total income earned by manufacturing workers, wage premium paid to manufacturing workers relative to other states and share of manufacturing employment per capita.

The manufacturing industry refers to jobs that produce durable goods for consumers — cars, trucks, smartphones, computers, refrigerators, washing machines — and non-durable goods for consumers, such as clothes and processed foods.

Five states — Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and South Carolina — earned an “A” grade for manufacturing health in 2019. Four earned “F grades: Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.

Eight states saw at least some improvement in the industry, according to the report. This includes California and Connecticut, which saw their scores improve from a “C” to a “C+” and Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, whose scores improved from a “C-” to a “C.”

Meanwhile, four states saw their scores fall: Arkansas, New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia.

The researchers also doled out grades for individual categories related to manufacturing: logistics industry health, human capital, worker benefit costs, tax climate, expected fiscal liability gap, global reach, sector diversification and productivity and innovation.

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