The Blue-Collar Resurgence in America

Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

The blue-collar resurgence appears to be more than a cyclical phenomenon. The United States’ global dominance in energy and manufacturing, the two of which are becoming increasingly intertwined, has sparked a wave of new investments from major domestic and foreign producers. The American edge in energy has led to new employment in both construction and operations, and manufacturing companies to plan the construction of new factories. All of this signaling that if properly nurtured, this blue-collar revival can be sustained and shape the future of work.

Although, this rising tide of energy and manufacturing employment has impacted the nation as a whole. With the blue-collar revival making a surge out west, led by the metropolitan areas of Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle, and Denver. However, the bulk of America’s blue-collar workforce is centralized in the middle of the country. Here’s a glance at the Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

This state has the highest proportion of blue-collar jobs with 21.4% of the workforce employed in goods-producing industries. It is home of the world’s foremost diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Engine, who serves customers in over 160 countries. As well as, Eli Lilly who is an industry leader in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of pharmaceutical products for human and animal health. Both attributing to the state’s country leading 17% manufacturing employment. Construction makes up 4.2% of the workforce, with mining & logging accounting for less than 1% of the state’s jobs.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Here, blue-collar jobs account for 17.2% of the workforce. Manufacturing commands 12.6% of the blue-collar workforce, construction maintains 4.6%, while mining & logging hold less than 1%. Arkansas home to Tyson Foods who is the second largest food production company in the Fortune 500. As well as, one of America’s most admired companies the logistics and transportation juggernaut JB Hunt.

North Dakota

Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

North Dakota boasts the most diversity in the country among its blue-collar jobs, which account for 16.6% of the workforce. Construction represents 7.4% of the blue-collar workforce, manufacturing holds 5.7%, and mining & logging preserves 3.5%. North Dakota is home to Bobcat who is one of the world’s leaders in manufacturing and engineering equipment. As well as, Knife River who is a leading provider of aggregate, ready-mix, asphalt and construction services.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Iowa rounds out the top three with 18.9% of the workforce employed in blue-collar jobs. Manufacturing also dominates blue collar jobs in this state with 13.6% of the workforce employed in this sector. This state also has the highest construction workforce of the top 3 with 5.1%. Again mining & logging account for less than 1% of the blue-collar workforce. Iowa is home to Rockwell Collins Inc. a preeminent producer of avionics and information technology systems to government agencies and aircraft manufacturers worldwide. As well as, HNI Corporation (formerly HON Industries), headquartered in Muscatine, is the second-largest office furniture manufacturer in the world.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Alabama maintains a 17.9% blue-collar workforce. 13.2% of them work in manufacturing, 4.3% work in construction and less than 1% work in mining & logging. Alabama is home to Vulcan Materials a foremost producer and distributor of construction materials, primarily gravel, crushed stone, and sand. As well as, BL Harbert International who is a leader in design-build, construction management and general contracting in construction markets worldwide.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Kentucky counts a blue-collar workforce population of 17.6%. Manufacturing employs 13%, construction 4% and mining & logging again account for less than 1% of the blue-collar workforce. Kentucky is home to Inoac USA Inc. who develops and manufactures urethane, rubber, plastic, and synthetic products and materials. As well as, Lexmark International Inc., a worldwide leader in manufacturing laser printers and imaging products.


Michigan has 17.6% of the workforce assuming blue-collar jobs. Manufacturing employs 13.9% of the blue-collar workforce, construction employs 3.6% and mining & logging employs less than 1%. Despite the industry’s struggles in recent years, Michigan is home to two of the worlds largest automotive companies General Motors and Ford Motor Company.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Wyoming is the first state in the top 10 where manufacturing doesn’t command the bulk of 17.5% of blue-collar jobs, only employing 3.3% of the workforce. Construction leads all blue-collar jobs in both the state and entire country employing 7.5% of the workforce. Slightly edging out mining & logging which also leads both the state and entire country accounting for 6.7% of the blue-collar workforce. At the forefront, blue-collar employment in Wyoming is Cloud Peak Energy which mines coal in the Powder River Basin, and Elkhorn Construction. a premier provider of industrial and plant construction and maintenance solutions for the oil, gas, power, mining and pipeline industries.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Mississippi Blue-collar jobs make up 16.9% of the state’s workforce, with manufacturing leading the charge at 12.5% of the blue-collar workforce. Construction sits at 3.9%, while mining & logging accounts for less than 1%. Mississippi is home to Nissan North America’s vehicle assembly plant in Canton that produces 450,000 vehicles per year. As well as, The Yates Companies which provide construction services throughout the United States.


Top 10 Most Blue-Collar Friendly States in America

Wisconsin boasts a 19.9% blue-collar workforce population. Manufacturing runs heavy in this state, accounting for 15.9% of the blue-collar jobs. It is home to Johnson Controls International the multinational conglomerate that is a world leader in the production of electronics and HVAC equipment for buildings. As well as, Kohler Co. a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and distribution of kitchen and bath products. Construction supplies 3.8% of the blue-collar jobs, with mining & logging accounting for less than 1% of the state’s jobs.

** All calculations are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics **

OJT Supports the Blue Collar Resurgence in America

There’s a need in the market place and it’s for a skilled workforce! This is for Millenials and Generation Z, read closely. Observational Learning is one of the best ways to learn and retain information, and it’s acquired through On-the-Job Training. Unsure of how you’ll have a family-sustaining career? OJT is the answer! Because not only will you earn while you learn but once you acquire the skills needed to be proficient in your chosen career path, your pay increases substantially! Not to mention all the other excellent perks like great health coverage, 401ks, etc. Find a training provider in your state or in a neighboring state and get started on the career path of your dreams today!

Also, check out The Modern Job Seeker for additional support!





8 thoughts on “The Blue-Collar Resurgence in America

  1. Avatar
    Norm W. says:

    I believe that how we define “blue-collar” is evolving but the national labor statistics still take the traditional approach to defining blue-collar jobs as manufacturing, construction/maintenance, transportation, oil and mining. However, the future of the blue-collar workforce will include low-pay services such as health care support, protective service, food preparation and serving, building and grounds cleaning, and personal care and service occupations. All of these jobs typically requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, with some combination of on-the-job or vocational training.

    Projections show healthcare, personal care, and service occupations as being among the fastest growing occupations over the next decade. This is in addition to technology (computer & math based) occupations which have require more vocational education than traditional secondary & post-secondary educational requirements.

  2. Avatar
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