The scores have been tallied in determining the overall top states for doing business. But according to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, that's not where you'll find the majority of woodworkers, nor the best paying jobs in the field.
"America's Top States for Business 2016," compiled by CNBC, ranks the best work states, with the Top 10 in order of: Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, Michigan, Georgia, Iowa and Florida. CNBC compiled its list based on 10 categories of competitiveness: Workforce, Cost of Doing Business, Infrastructure, Economy, Quality of Life, Technology & Innovation, Education, Business Friendliness, Cost of Living and Access to Capital. Click here to see the complete list by CNBC.
While CNBC's ranking does include some prime states for woodworking, there are a number of top woodworking states that didn't make the list. Based on data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following is a list of the Top 10 woodworking states for furniture, cabinetry and millwork, compiled from employment and wage information.
Residential furniture & cabinetry
According to the BLS Census of Employment and Wages figures for 2015, out of 12,981 household furniture and cabinetry manufacturers in 2015, California ranked tops with 1,419 shops, followed by Florida (1,074), New York (684), Texas (663), North Carolina (632). Illinois (513), Ohio (505), Georgia (468), Pennsylvania (465) and Minnesota (388), with Indiana just missing out of the Top 10 at 385 shops.
However, when it comes to number of employees, North Carolina moves into the top spot, with 27,752, followed by California (22,256), Mississippi (16,648), Indiana (15,578), Texas (14,618), Ohio (10,795), Wisconsin (10,513), Pennsylvania (9,383), Florida (8,069) and Virginia (7,116).
The landscape is quite different when it comes to average weekly wages. Beating out the national average of $747 by a sizable 30 percent, in 2015 the top paying state in the field was Massachusetts ($971), followed closely by Michigan ($944), and Alaska ($931). Rounding out the Top 10 wage-paying states are: New Jersey ($873), Connecticut and New Hampshire (both at $868), Maine ($865), Minnesota ($849), New York ($835) and Hawaii ($831). Although edged out of the top 10, Wisconsin is still among the top-paying states for the field, with an average weekly wage of $822. This does not take into account the cost of living for these areas.
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Breaking this down further, a look at just wood kitchen cabinet and countertop manufacturing facilities (NAICS 33711) also shows California on top with 791 establishments, followed by Florida (752), Texas (404), New York (345), Georgia (341), Minnesota (337), Illinois (310), Pennsylvania (277), North Carolina (272) and Indiana (254). Ohio and Alabama falls just out of the top 10 with 249 and 247 firms respectively.
On the employment side, Indiana boasted the largest average annual employment figures in 2015, coming in at 9,767. The next nine highest are: California (9,310), Texas (8,816), Pennsylvania (5,880), Minnesota (5,161), Florida (4,821), Alabama (4,572), Ohio (4,051), North Carolina (3,991) and Georgia (3,462).
When it comes to weekly wages however, Michigan leads at $1,000, beating the national average of $756 by a whopping 32 percent. According to 2015 figures, other top paying states for cabinetmakers are: New Hampshire ($987), Massachusetts ($977), New York ($880), Connecticut ($859), Hawaii ($855), New Jersey ($840), California ($837), Colorado ($821) and Minnesota ($817). Just below are Pennsylvania ($809) and Ohio ($801).
Similarly on the residential furniture side (NAICS 33712), California ranks as the top state for number of manufacturing establishments, with 628. From there, the number drops significantly, with North Carolina next at 359, followed by New York (339), Florida (322), Texas (259), Ohio (256), Illinois (204), Pennsylvania (189), Indiana (131) and Georgia (127). Michigan falls just shy, coming in at number 11 with 119 establishments.
Surprisingly, only Illinois ranks among the Top 10 in average weekly wages, coming it at number 9, with $864. Topping the list is Minnesota, which had just 51 shops but where employees averaged $993 a week — a hefty 34 percent higher than the national weekly average of $740. Next highest was Massachusetts ($964), followed by: New Jersey ($942); Iowa ($935), Maine ($931), Michigan ($924), South Carolina ($924), Connecticut ($901), Illinois ($864) and Wisconsin ($856).
When it comes to employment figures, North Carolina is first with an average employment figure in 2015 of 23,761. Next on the list is Mississippi with 15,976, followed by: California (12,946), Wisconsin (7,961), Ohio (6,744), Indiana (5,811), Texas (5,802), Tennessee (5,066), Virginia (4,179) and New York (3,695). Michigan once again misses out, coming in at number 11 with 3,591 employees.
Office furniture, millwork & fixtures
Here, the 2015 BLS data lists 3,706 office furniture, fixtures and millwork shops. As before, California has the most shops with 396, followed by New York (279), Illinois (223), North Carolina (199), Florida (195), Texas (195), Ohio (177), Michigan (170), Pennsylvania (157), and Georgia (126).
When you consider the number of employees in the field, Michigan jumps into the lead with 15,730, almost twice that of California, which had 7, 979. Other Top 10 employers are: Indiana (6,629), North Carolina (5,497), Pennsylvania (5,321), New York (5,319), Illinois (5,021), Texas (4,294), Georgia (3,788) and Iowa (3,654). Once again Wisconsin comes in at number 11, with 3,481 employees and Ohio, which had the ninth largest number of employees in 2014, drops to the number 12 spot, with 3,371.
In this sector, the 2015 average annual weekly wage was $961, significantly higher than that of residential and cabinet manufacturing. And once again Michigan ranks high, coming in at number 1 with an average weekly rate of $1,253. Others in the Top 10 for average weekly wages are: Connecticut ($1,179), New Jersey ($1,136), Pennsylvania ($1,095), Massachusetts ($1,061), Iowa ($1,055), Minnesota ($1,028), Illinois ($1,011), California ($1,008) and New York ($1,005).
Pulling out the 1,290 architectural woodwork and millwork shops (NAICS 337212) from the general category, 2015 data puts New York at number 1 with 130 shops, followed by California (106), Florida (87), Illinois (83), Texas (76), Pennsylvania (55), North Carolina and Ohio both with 47, Georgia (43) and Massachusetts (38). More, however, are employed in California than anywhere else. In 2015, the California employed an average of 2,061 in the architectural woodwork market, followed by New York (1,514), Texas (1,325), Ohio (995), Pennsylvania (977), Illinois (940), Florida (808), Michigan (663), Massachusetts (565) and Georgia (548). North Carolina ranked number 11, with 503 employees, trading places with Michigan, which came in at number 11 in manufacturing shops, at 36.
In general, architectural woodworkers in Illinois came out ahead when it comes to salary, having earned an average weekly wage of $1,340 in 2015. Next up is New Jersey ($1,213), followed by: Massachusetts ($1,200), California ($1,197), Maryland ($1,137), Connecticut ($1,120), Michigan ($1,107), New York ($1,099), Minnesota ($1,033) and Ohio ($994). These were also the only states to beat the national average of $989.
Wood windows & doors
A smaller, though equally important subsection of the wood products industry, wood window and door manufacturing (NAICS 321911) boasted 1,114 companies in 2015. Of that, 147 were located in California, 76 in Florida, 68 in Texas, 48 in Georgia and Pennsylvania, 43 in Wisconsin, 41 in Washington and New York, 36 in Illinois and 33 in Oregon. As far as average employment figures go, 2015 saw Iowa leading with 5,894 employees, followed by: Minnesota (5,238), Wisconsin (5,043), California (3,404), Virginia (2,355), Pennsylvania (2,303), Oregon (1,966), Texas (1,386), North Carolina (1,375) and Indiana (1,293).
The top paying states in this field in 2015 were: Minnesota ($1,084), Massachusetts ($1,077), North Carolina ($1,038), Iowa ($1,017), Georgia ($976), Arizona ($946), New Hampshire ($928), New York ($923), Colorado ($910) and Kansas ($907). Two states that were among the top paying in 2014 not only fell off the list, but came in below the 2015 weekly national average of $871: South Carolina ($859) and Tennessee ($849).
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