Economic impact study reveals new data on jobs, wages and economic output, beating pre-pandemic levels

 [WEST DES MOINES, Iowa]—March 21, 2023— In Iowa, more than 325,800 jobs totaling $13.9 billion in wages are directly attributed to agriculture, according to the seventh annual Feeding the Economy report released by 25 food and agriculture groups.

The agricultural industry is also responsible for $96.5 billion of direct economic output in the state. When factoring in “induced impact” of linked food and agriculture industries and the spending power of those employed by them, Iowa agriculture’s economic impact more than doubles to $221.8 billion.

            “These numbers say what we already know—progress in agriculture starts with people,” says Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson. “As new technology and markets are developed to increase agricultural sustainability and offer more choices to the consumer, it will be these people with boots-on-the-ground who continue to make Iowa agriculture even stronger than it is today.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 1948 and 2019, land use for agriculture decreased by 28% while land productivity grew nearly four times and labor productivity grew more than 10 times. In fact, agriculture’s total factor productivity growth rate is among the highest of U.S. sectors.

Nationwide, the report shows the U.S. food and agriculture sector directly supports nearly 23 million jobs, provides $927 billion in wages and contributes over $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy, a 22% increase since the 2019 report. The 2023 report also reveals nearly one-fifth of total manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are related to the production of agricultural products.

The full report and list of sponsoring groups can be found at