Skip to main content

Report shows food and ag sector has massive impact on the economy


March 21, 2023

By: Sean Ellis



Report shows food and ag sector has massive impact on the economy

Feeding The Economy, an economic impact study commissioned by 25 food and agriculture groups, reveals new data on jobs, wages, and economic output at district, state, and nationwide levels


POCATELLO – Today, 25 food and agriculture groups released the seventh annual Feeding the Economy report, revealing food and agriculture industries and their suppliers contribute over $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy, nearly one-fifth of total national output and a 22% increase since the 2019 report.

The 2023 Feeding the Economy report demonstrates the resilience and strength of America’s food and agriculture sector, showing increased economic output in every state compared to the 2022 report.

The data, which is also broken down by state, shows the food and ag industry in Idaho is responsible for 370,878 jobs in the state, as well as $21.9 billion in total wages, $7.5 billion in taxes and $1 billion in exports.

“Those numbers are astounding and reveal just how important the agriculture and food sector is to Idaho’s economy and the American economy as a whole,” said Idaho Farm Bureau Federation President Bryan Searle. “It clearly shows that the food and agriculture industries are dynamic contributors to the Idaho and U.S. economy.”

For the purpose of the study, the food and agriculture industries include any business involved in food agriculture, food manufacturing, food wholesaling, and food retailing (so-called “farm to fork”). 

Providing data on jobs, wages, and economic output, this farm-to-fork analysis illustrates the food and agriculture sector’s impact on local and nationwide economic activity.

This year’s report shows the U.S. food and agriculture sector nationwide directly supports nearly 23 million jobs, provides $927 billion in wages, and is particularly vital to rural communities across America.

Notably, the 2023 report reveals that the manufacturing of agricultural products accounts for nearly one-fifth of total manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Overall, more than 46 million jobs are supported across the food and agriculture supply chain, an increase of nearly 2% since the 2019 report despite the economic challenges and disruptions associated with the global pandemic.

The strength highlighted in this year’s report reinforces that agriculture is evolving and innovating to meet the demands of the 21st century.

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.

“This study highlights the impact the greater food and ag sector industries have on the American economy and the sector’s critical role in providing economic opportunity, nutritional value, and safe food for all Americans,” American Bakers Association President and CEO Eric Dell said in a news release announcing the report’s findings.

American Farm Bureau Federation was one of the sponsoring organizations of the report, which can be found at