Employment and Wages
Manufacturing employment grew by 5.2% in 2022, adding a net 8,460 jobs to the economy. This follows significant losses in 2020, leaving overall industry employment at its lowest level since 2017. Prior to 2020, manufacturing had rapidly expanded from 2016 to 2019, adding more than 5,600 jobs, the first year of significant growth in the industry since 2008. Employment growth overall was largely driven by expansions in transportation equipment manufacturing and machinery manufacturing, which together added 4,944 jobs, but these were mitigated somewhat by losses in textile product mills, chemical manufacturing, and electrical equipment and appliance manufacturing totaling to 264 jobs. The average annual wage for Kansas manufacturing employees increased to $65171, a growth of 5.0% after adjusting for inflation. Only 2 sectors, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing and paper manufacturing, saw declines in wages. The most robust wages were seen in the chemical manufacturing sector, with a value of $113,090. Kansas's manufacturing industry Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 4.1%, adjusting for inflation in 2022, faster than the state's GDP growth rate of 1.6%. Manufacturing real GDP grew each year in Kansas since 2013, and the overall state GDP grew each year from 2013 to 2022.
Manufacturing GDP increased by 2.8% since 2010, slightly faster than the overall state GDP growth of 1.6%.
Durable Industry News
- In November of 2022, Panasonic Energy broke ground on a new EV battery factory in De Soto. This investment is expected to create over 4,000 jobs and add capacity to the US EV battery supply chain.
- In February of 2023, Governor Laura Kelly announced that Integra Technologies will invest $1.8B and create nearly 2,000 jobs for a new semiconductor plant. Along with the direct employment impact, this is expected to have impacts on the electronics supply chain throughout the region.
- In June of 2023, Laura Kelly announced that Michelin will invest over $100M into its Junction City operations over the next 5 years, creating a purported 200 new jobs. This investment will go toward increasing the company’s production capacity for Casmo rubber tracks for agricultural equipment.
- After a brief strike in June 2023, Spirit AeroSystems and the machinists union representing 6,000 of their employees reached a four-year contract agreement.
Non-Durable Industry News
- In August of 2022, JTM Foods announced it has chosen Wichita as its new manufacturing location for JJ’s Snack Pies. The company has a planned investment of $40 million into the facility with an employment capacity of 150 people.
- In November 2022, Governor Laura Kelly announced expansion plans of Schwan’s Company’s pizza manufacturing facility, with an investment of $600M. This is purported to create 225 new jobs.
- In June 2023, Laura Kelly announced plans for Walmart to build a $257M case-ready beef facility in Olathe, creating a purported 667 jobs.
- In March 2023, the Hutchinson paper mill of South Carolina-based Sonoco Products closed, affecting 116 employees. This is indicative of a broader trend of a decline in paper manufacturing throughout the state over the past decade.