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Benefits 2.0

Manufacturing sector benefits drive billions in impact

Economist Impact
Economist Impact combines the rigor of a think-tank with the creativity of a media brand to engage a globally influential audience. We believe that evidence-based insights can open debate, broaden perspectives and catalyze progress.
A manufacturing worker uses a tool while on the factory floor

In this infographic we explore impacts at three levels, including among manufacturing workers, manufacturing companies and across industries and the economy. These insights are based on an Economist Impact survey of US workers, national benefits data and an economic model. Our survey included 1,500 full-time workers across medium to large companies, including 500 in the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing workers take advantage of employer-provided benefits.
On average in direct spending per beneficiary.
In contributions made by manufacturing workers.

Benefits also pave the way for social impacts:

They encourage workers to take advantage of subsidized caregiving, education and wellness programs. 


of workers say their family takes advantage of their education benefits.

They promote upward mobility and equality


of Asian workers in manufacturing say they are the first in their families with access to benefits such as retirement, health insurance and parental leave.

2. Industry and economic impact

Chart: Spending on manufacturing benefits supports the economy
As every dollar spent on manufacturing benefits ripples through the US economy, it ultimately generates 1.5 times its value in economic impact.
The health and social work sector plays the largest part in benefit provision, receiving $126 billion in spending.
The manufacturing sector plays a role, too, receiving $28 billion in benefit spending. One-third of this is due to the sector’s role in pharmaceutical production, a key factor in health benefits.
Total impact on the U.S. economy
5.5m jobs
Total impact on the U.S. labor market

3. Impacts on manufacturing companies

Benefits also drive countless positive impacts for the employers that provide them

Additional manufacturing insights and resources
Empowering workers: tackling areas where benefits fall short
Employers in the US manufacturing sector spend $260 billion on benefits—an immensely valuable investment for workers, employers and the broader economy.
Rethinking benefits for better talent outcomes
Prioritizing benefits to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion can help manufacturing companies gain a competitive edge in attracting top talent, enhancing productivity and innovation, fostering a positive workplace culture, and ensuring a healthy workforce.
Optimizing benefits provision: three strategic recommendations
To elevate the impact of their benefits, companies need a holistic strategy to guide decision-making. Learn more about how manufacturing employers can set themselves up for success.
Contact us
Brendan McCarthy
Brendan McCarthy
Head of Retirement Investing, Nuveen

Disclosure statement:
Nuveen and Economist Impact, or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries are not affiliated with or in any way related to each other.

This material, along with the views and opinions expressed within, are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market, economic or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass. All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty (express or implied) as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information, and it should not be relied on as such.

Nuveen, LLC provides investment solutions through its investment specialists.

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