Wisconsin Manufacturing Statistics, Resources, Jobs, and Production Overview

Wisconsin manufacturing has a rich history of distinguished work ethic and quality production. Across many industries, Wisconsin is home to globally recognized industrial brands that originated in Wisconsin and continue to produce goods in this state.

The manufacturers, collaborative industry associations, and hard working people of Wisconsin have given the state a reputation of leadership and quality.

Some of the largest and most established manufacturers in Wisconsin including Harley Davidson, Kohler, Johnson Controls, Kimberly-Clark, Ariens, and Briggs & Stratton have been examples of the legacy of success in manufacturing that Wisconsin has become known for.

Wisconsin Manufacturing Statistics

The manufacturing industry in Wisconsin plays a significant role in both the overall economic production value as well as the workforce impact.

infographic of wisconsin manufacturing statistics

1. Top 10 States for Manufacturing Company Headquarters

Wisconsin is a nationally recognized state for being an optimal location for a manufacturing headquarters. A strong workforce, beneficial tax structure, and access to needed resources makes Wisconsin a top 10 location. (IndustryWeek 2018)

2. $59B in Total Manufacturing Output

From local products to international exports, Wisconsin manufactures nearly $60Billion in total output. Manufacturing is a massive contributor to the Wisconsin economy. (NAM 2017)

3. 9,400 Manufacturing Companies in Wisconsin

The strong manufacturing sector in Wisconsin is comprised of a wide variety of companies and represents countless industries. From small niche companies to international leaders, the community of Wisconsin manufacturers is large and diverse. (Bureau of Labor Statistics QCEW, 2018)

4. Manufacturing accounts for 19% of Wisconsin’s GDP

The Wisconsin manufacturing industry is one of the largest contributors to the Wisconsin economy. Producing almost 20% of Wisconsin’s GDP, manufacturing is a major component of a growing economy. (Bureau of Labor Statistics QCEW, 2018; Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP, 2018)

Top 10 Wisconsin Manufacturing Sectors

infographic of wisconsin’s top 10 manufacturing sectors

Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector is very diverse. Here are the top manufacturing sectors, in order, in the state of Wisconsin (NAM, 2016)

  1. Food, beverage and tobacco products
  2. Machinery
  3. Fabricated metal products
  4. Paper manufacturing
  5. Chemicals
  6. Electrical equipment and appliances
  7. Plastics and rubber products
  8. Computer and electronic products
  9. Printing and related support activities
  10. Motor vehicles and parts

Top 5 Wisconsin Export Markets


map showing wisconsin manufacturing export markets

Here are the top 5 export markets for Wisconsin manufacturers (NAM, 2018). While exports to North American countries play a large role in the industry, Europe and Asia are strong buying nations of Wisconsin made products as well.

  1. Canada
  2. Mexico
  3. China
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom

Wisconsin Manufacturing Resources & Associations

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is a manufacturing business association who works to make Wisconsin the best place in the nation to do business. WMC works as the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, the manufacturers’ association of Wisconsin, and the state safety council.

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s national Manufacturing Extension Partnership. WMEP provides operational, growth, and certification services to Wisconsin manufacturers in south and eastern Wisconsin.

Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC) works with small and mid-size manufacturers to improve processes, grow business, enrich people, and develop products in western and northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP) collaborates with the MOC and WMEP to help Wisconsin manufacturers grow through technology acceleration, supplier development, sustainability, workforce strategy and engagement, continuous improvement, and growth and exporting.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a state organization that provides resources and support to help Wisconsin businesses, including manufacturers, grow.

Wisconsin Manufacturing Jobs Overview

At the core of Wisconsin’s successful manufacturing industry and legacy is the strong and dedicated workforce. The work ethic in the state of Wisconsin is known for discipline and innovation and is responsible for the long term tenure and growth of many companies and industries.

Employing a large portion of the Wisconsin workforce, the manufacturing sector is as important to the workforce as the workforce is important to the industry. Manufacturing jobs contribute to the Wisconsin economy in a significant way.

Here are some notable Wisconsin manufacturing jobs statistics:

  • 475,000 employed by Wisconsin Manufacturing Companies. Bureau of Labor Statistics QCEW, 2018; Bureau of Economic Analysis GDP, 2018
  • $58,046. Average wage for wisconsin manufacturing employees. Wisconsin. Bureau of Labor Statistics QCEW, 2018

Wisconsin manufacturers range in size from 1 employee all the way to an employer with a total team of over 100,000 (Johnson Controls) and every single company contributes to making Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and play.

Here are some of the largest manufacturers that are operating with a headquarters in the state of Wisconsin:


A.O. Smith Corporation Enerpac Tool Group Oshkosh Corporation
AriensCo Johnson Controls Plexus Corp.
Ashley Furniture Kimberly-Clark Rexnord
Bemis Co. Kohler Rockwell Automation
Brady Corp. The Manitowoc Company SC Johnson
Briggs & Stratton Menasha Corp. Schreiber Foods
CASE North America Mercury Marine Snap-On Tools
Harley Davidson Modine Manufacturing Waupaca Foundry

Manufacturing Plays An Important Role in the History & Future of Wisconsin

The industrial sector has played a large role in the history of Wisconsin’s growth and continues to be a robust factor in the progress of the workforce and economy as a whole.

As a nationally recognized state, Wisconsin has the resources, work ethic, tools, and collaborative community to support its manufacturing leadership for decades to come.

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