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Advanced Manufacturing

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Memphis’s manufacturing base is substantial, spanning a wide variety of products – from non-durable goods such as food and beverage and paper products to more precision based surgical and medical instruments and automotive component manufacturing. With a strong workforce presence found throughout the region, companies with operations in Greater Memphis can connect to the U.S. and the world with exceptional air, road, rail, and port infrastructure.

39,000+

Production Workers 

(2019)

2,000+

Graduates Annually

Mfg. Related Programs

75%

United States Population

Within a 2-day Drive

Connected


The Memphis regional market is centrally located in the United States and offers superior operational value and flexibility. With an integrated transportation system of road infrastructure, rail mainlines, river ports, and the 2nd busiest cargo airport in the world, over 27,000 companies have operations in Memphis, including over 400 trucking companies. 

With internationally recognized brands leveraging the Memphis value proposition for distribution and logistics functions, the Memphis market serves as America’s Distribution Hub – ensuring reliable and cost-effective solutions to grow bottom line revenues and improve supply chain management systems.

Industry Presence


In the Greater Memphis metro area, manufacturing industries hold significant regional presence. Shown in the table below, industries with the largest regional presence are highlighted. Measured by industry employment, the top 10 manufacturing industries displayed account for nearly 50% of total manufacturing employment within the region. Pairing the strong critical mass of industry-specific skills with robust historical and projected growth fuel our region’s specialization in the ability to manufacture and take products to market.

Industry Description2015 Jobs2019 Jobs2023 JobsJob Growth 2015 to 2019 (%)Projected Job Growth (%) 2019 to 20232019 Location Quotient
Medical Equipment and Supplies6,4486,8247,4455.84%9.10%5.01
Architectural and Structural Metals2,3522,9173,19024.03%9.36%1.75
HVAC and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment2,0582,3492,34214.14%-0.31%4.08
Motor Vehicle Parts1,0431,4281,65636.84%15.98%0.56
Grain and Oilseed Milling1,4901,4151,403-5.05%-0.88%5.47
Other General Purpose Machinery 1,1241,4081,53625.27%9.11%1.21
Plastics Product1,3941,3841,328-0.73%-4.00%0.55
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment1,2701,2941,3691.92%5.78%3.08
Basic Chemicals1,1241,2551,25911.67%0.35%1.96
Dairy Products1,0061,0101,0300.45%1.96%1.58
Top 10 Industry Total19,30721,28322,55710.23%5.99%
Greater Memphis MSA Total45,05943,53745,818-1.2%2.9%
Note: Above industries reflect 4-digit NAICS industries within the Memphis TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Area. Employment estimates derived from Economic Modeling Specialists International, Q2 2020 dataset QCEW Employment.
Location Quotient: Measured against the Nation, location quotients (LQ) are a useful way of quantifying how concentrated a particular industry, cluster, or occupation is in a region as compared to a larger geographic area. An LQ of 1 is equally concentrated within both areas. An LQ of 1.5 indicates that the smaller geographic region is 50% more concentrated regionally, and an LQ of 2 indicates the geographic region is twice as concentrated regionally. An LQ of 0.5 indicates the smaller geographic region is 50% less concentrated against the larger geographic area.

Workforce Presence


As America’s hub for distribution and logistics activity, there exists a strength within the Memphis MSA labor force that is unmatched by its nearest metropolitan peers. This workforce is complemented by the area’s central location and highly developed intermodal infrastructure. Shown in the table below, primary production occupations are displayed. With over 24,000 employed in the top ten, our region’s workforce has the skills, availability, and drive at a competitive cost.

Occupation Description2019 JobsMedian Annual EarningsAvg. Hourly Earnings2019 Location Quotient
Assemblers and Fabricators, Including Team Assemblers6,137$27,477$14.221.08
Helpers–Production Workers3,340$23,422$12.352.21
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders2,683$29,169$14.931.58
Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers2,633$55,653$28.780.99
Production Workers, All Other2,369$24,430$13.292.32
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers2,052$34,116$18.190.87
Food Batchmakers1,368$35,909$18.031.96
Machinists1,334$43,503$21.950.81
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers1,331$42,719$21.350.80
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic597$25,489$13.071.00
Top Manufacturing Occupations Total24,342
Production Occupations Regional Total39,400
Note: Above occupations reflect Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC codes) within the Memphis TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Area. Estimates derived from Economic Modeling Specialists International, Q2 2020 dataset QCEW Employment.
Location Quotient: Measured against the Nation, location quotients (LQ) are a useful way of quantifying how concentrated a particular industry, cluster, or occupation is in a region as compared to a larger geographic area. An LQ of 1 is equally concentrated within both areas. An LQ of 1.5 indicates that the smaller geographic region is 50% more concentrated regionally, and an LQ of 2 indicates the geographic region is twice as concentrated regionally. An LQ of 0.5 indicates the smaller geographic region is 50% less concentrated against the larger geographic area.

A large labor pool, competitive costs and easy access to national and international markets makes Greater Memphis the location of choice for manufacturing operations.

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