CPG Industry Provides 1-in-10 Jobs

CPG Industry provides 1-in-10 jobs.

When people think about the jobs that keep America working, they think in terms of technology, transportation, service industries, media, and entertainment. They may not realize that the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry provides more than 10 percent of U.S. jobs, including the largest manufacturing segment. A recent report by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, in conjunction with PwC, had some remarkable takeaways about the huge contributions the industry is making to the U.S. economy.

CPG Stats

  • For example, according to the report, every job in the CPG industry supports an average of 7.7 additional jobs, such as retail and marketing jobs.
  • Some of the biggest producers of jobs and GDP include meat and poultry processing with 523,000 jobs; Bread and bakery product with 430,000 jobs; bottled and canned soft drinks with 98,000 jobs and wineries with 72,000 jobs.
  • The top three states in terms of contribution to GDP for the CPG industry include California, Texas, and New York. Though Nebraska has the largest share of jobs contributed by CPG
  • Per job, the CPG industry directly generated roughly $154,700 in value added in 2017. The average value added per job in the U.S. that year was about $99,300.
  • The average CPG labor job paid $4,000 more than the average labor job in other industries.

So much of the focus in CPG and surrounding industries has been on new technologies streamlining operations and allowing companies to use robots rather than people—robots that do inventory; mobile device software that lets people shop without ever encountering another living soul—it’s nice to remember that people still power CPG and the industries it supports.

HEB a job leader, too

Thinking about CPG jobs and those they support reminded me of a chain that supports both people and technology, and has become one of the most beloved businesses in Texas. Texas, if you recall is a big CPG state. And the biggest private employer in that state is H-E-B. H-E-B surpassed 100,000 employees in 2017 and now has roughly 116,000 employees. It recently announced its plan to hire 500 more employees to staff a new technology center at its headquarters and consolidate its digital workforce in San Antonio.

H-E-B consistently ranks as America’s fourth favorite grocery store despite the fact that it can only be found in Texas. And it’s often ranked as one of the best places to work by Glassdoor and other sites. In addition, it really focuses on people. Knowing it had a number of customers who were in lower-income brackets, it launched a special line of stores with quality ingredients at more affordable prices. It has always put people first.

True, the company also plans to start experimenting with a self-driving delivery vehicle in San Antonio. But while it must, in some cases, replace humans with technology, it is also among the largest private funders of public education in Texas, and has played a key role in opening Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) schools to train up and coming tech workers.

Many people think of the CPG, retail and other industries as ways to distribute goods and services, have more “stuff,” And turn on an ever tighter dime using technology to do so. RW3 knows better. CPG, retail, all these industries are about our most human selves—the work we do, the food and goods we provide to care for families and for ourselves, and the communities that form around these things. We’re glad to be part of it.

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Bruce is the founder and CEO of RW3 Technologies. Having spent more than 35 years in the consumer goods and grocer space Bruce has experienced the industry disruption first hand and understands how artificial intelligence, POS data, and mobile technology can transform a good organization into a great one.

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