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Big Sky Status

Treasure State relies on manufacturing for 1/5 of its economic base


Montana manufacturing continues to be one-fifth of the state’s total economic base, according to a new report released by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at Montana State University.


The 2023 Montana Manufacturing Report provides a wide variety of data about manufacturing, shows the results of surveys given to manufacturers and displays how MMEC’s services provided help the industry. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana conducts the annual economic analysis and develops the report. This report marks the 27th year of collaboration between MMEC and BBER.

The 2023 Montana Manufacturing Report was recently published.



The report covers the year 2022. According to the report:

  • Manufacturing makes up 21% of Montana’s economic base.

  • Careers in manufacturing pay about $57,180 in earnings, which is above the state average.

  • Manufacturing employs more than 22,500 employees

  • Manufacturing accounted for 5.5% of total state earnings at $1.95 billion.

  • Manufacturing made up 6.6% of the gross state product at $3.3 billion.


“This year’s report confirms that manufacturing is a robust sector within the Montana economy,” said MMEC Director Paddy Fleming. “We continue to see strong increases in employment and earnings for Montana workers. Moreover, manufacturers are optimistic about starting new businesses here, with the total number of manufacturing firms growing to more than 4,400. In particular, there is large growth among companies that produce food and beverages, transportation equipment and advanced technologies such as photonics.”


The MMEC is part of MSU’s Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering and provides services to manufacturing companies across the state to help improve business operations through in-person specialist assistance.


MMEC’s current manufacturing report and those from previous years can be found at montana.edu/mmec/news/reports.

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