Is Alabama Manufacturing Improving?

Date: July 19, 2016 Last Edit: July 20, 2016

Annual report card shows slight boost to state’s rank.

Is Alabama Manufacturing Improving?

Alabama manufacturing may be on the upswing.

Since 2009, the health of the state’s manufacturing industry—which makes up 8.7 percent of the state’s economy—has received a “B” or “B-” grade from the annual Manufacturing and Logistics National Report Card put together by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University and sponsored by Conexus Indiana. But in 2016, Alabama earned a “B+” grade.

This annual report shows how each state ranks in several economic factors that are key to the success of manufacturing and logistics. In addition to overall manufacturing industry health, CBER evaluates states based on the following categories: logistics industry health, human capital, worker benefit costs, tax climate, expected liability gap, global reach, sector diversification, and productivity and innovation. Here’s how Alabama stacks up in 2016:

Manufacturing Industry Health: B+

Logistics Industry Health: C

Human Capital: F

Worker Benefit Costs: C+

Tax Climate: C

Expected Liability Gap: C+

Global Reach: B+

Sector Diversification: B

Productivity and Innovation: D

While Alabama received a slightly higher overall grade, two categories have earned consistently low marks: logistics (‘C’ grades since 2009) and human capital (‘F’ grades since 2009). Considering the state’s challenges with transportation infrastructure and education, this is not surprising, but Alabama must address these issues to truly turn its manufacturing industry around.

To learn more and read Alabama’s 2016 report card, visit

Related Content: Small Business News | Alabama | Economy

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