This is part of a series reviewing industries that have experienced greater than 40% employment growth since 2007. Click here to see the summary. Data and analysis comes from Analyst and EMSI’s latest data release (2011.4). Contact Rob Sentz (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions. You can also follow EMSI @DesktopEcon.
Here is an industry that may be surprising to some, but perhaps not to others. Since 2007, when the economy went in the drain, wet corn milling, an agriculturally based industry, has actually been growing. Here is a definition from the Census Bureau:
This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in wet milling corn and other vegetables (except to make ethyl alcohol). Examples of products made in these establishments are corn sweeteners, such as glucose, dextrose, and fructose; corn oil; and starches (except laundry).
Right off the bat, it is interesting to note that this industry is not taking part in ethyl alcohol boom, which you can read more about here. Rather, this industry is very involved in food manufacturing — particularly the production of sugar. Here is an overview:
In 2009, there was rapid growth in the wet corn milling industry. As a result, the sector has gained 46% employment growth over the last five years, which is nearly 4,000 new jobs since 2007. There are only 72 establishments engaged in this work and they tend to be concentrated in Iowa and Illinois.
Below is a look at the geographic distribution.
|State Name||2007 Jobs||2011 Jobs||% Change||2011 Avg. Annual Wage||2007 National Location Quotient|
- From 2007-2011, Illinois’ wet corn milling grew by 265%, adding some 4,000 jobs. The job density for this industry in Illinois is more than four times greater than the typical state.
- After Illinois, Iowa is the other notable state. Iowa’s wet corn milling job density is more than 35 times greater than the typical state. However, given that high concentration, the industry grew by 7% over the past five years and added just 300 jobs.
- Two other states with high concentrations of wet corn milling jobs are North Dakota and Indiana, both experienced decline over the past five years.
Finally, here is a look at the staffing pattern, which tells us what occupations work in the industry.
- Most of the workers in this industry are production workers.
- Transportation and material moving is also well-represented.
We all know that agriculture and manufacturing are doing poorly domestically. However, this industry has found a domestic supply chain that has a great deal of domestic and international demand. Recent estimates say that the wet corn milling industry exports $3.3 billion worth of goods in a year. And given that the U.S. has less than 100 establishments that do this — that is a lot of dough.