LAWRENCEBURG, TENN.— Did you know that for every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, $2.74 is added to the economy? Did you know that for every new manufacturing job, an average of four supporting jobs are created in the community? If the U.S. manufacturing industry was its own economy, it would be the 9th largest economy in the world. The field is expanding and diversifying thanks in great part to technology—it’s not the same manufacturing trade from 25 or even 10 years ago.
September 28-October 2 is National Manufacturing Week, ending with Friday’s National Manufacturing Day on October 2.
“To commemorate the observance and put Lawrence County’s manufacturing sector in the spotlight, the Lawrence County Chamber is tackling a variety of manufacturing topics this week,” said Ryan Egly, Lawrence County Chamber President. “Today, we begin with an overview of the dynamic regional manufacturing industry in southern Tennessee and the incredible value and role our Lawrence County manufacturing industry plays within the economy.”
Regionally, the manufacturers employ more than 20,000 people across the seven-county labor shed which includes Lawrence, Giles, Maury, Lewis, and Wayne Counties in Tennessee and Lauderdale and Limestone Counties in Alabama. The breakdown includes the following employment numbers:
- Lawrence – 2,232 manufacturing jobs
- Giles – 3,270
- Maury – 6,872
- Lewis – 476
- Wayne – 418
- Lauderdale – 2,718
- Limestone – 4,100
In 2020, there were 439 manufacturing employers in the area that provide an average weekly wage of $1,102 or average annual pay of $57,296. Thousands of manufacturing jobs will be created over the next few years with companies like Craig Manufacturing, Advance Design Solutions, Smile Direct Club, Fuel Total Systems, Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing, and Dura Automotive Systems announcing expansions in the region.
One of the reasons we look at the region is because not only do our residents access these jobs, but we economically impact each other. Manufacturers provide a significant impact on county-level gross domestic product (GDP). As of 2019, GDP in the region eclipsed $12.5 billion.
Focusing on Lawrence County, our average manufacturing employee makes $45,255 per year compared to the county’s median wage of $35,929. With manufacturing employment growing, per capita income has improved over the past 10 years—from $27,250 to $35,252 (+29.3%).
Over 14% of Lawrence County’s workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. Breaking down the specific occupational groups, 15.3% are in healthcare; 10.5% are in transportation & logistics; 13.7% are in construction & maintenance; 8.1% are in business/finance; 7.7% are in law, education & arts; 18.2% are in back office sales & administration; and 5.5% work in the hospitality & food service industry.