WASHINGTON – New data from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) revealed that during the past two years the United States dairy industry added close to 60,000 new jobs and increased average wages by 11%.

The 2023 Economic Impact Study from IDFA reported the industry increased its total impact on the US economy by $41 billion in the past two years, as well.

IDFA released its report, which is conducted every two years, at the beginning of National Dairy Month in June, and found the US dairy industry’s economic impact totaled $793.75 billion. The study measures the combined impact of milk, cheese, ice cream, cultured dairy products and other ingredients sectors.

More of the latest data from the report showed that the industry now supports 3.2 million jobs – with 1.078 million of those existing in dairy product manufacturing, up roughly 60,000 from 2021.

Plus, US dairy accounts for $49 billion in direct wages for workers in the industry, compared to $42 billion in direct wages two years before.

IDFA also shared that the industry supports $72 billion in federal, state and local taxes – which doesn’t include sales taxes paid by consumers – up from $67.1 billion in 2021. US dairy supports 3% of the country's GDP.

“The US dairy industry is growing to keep pace with intense global demand, and that means more jobs, higher wages, more tax benefits and more economic growth for communities across the United States,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA’s president and chief executive officer. “Consumers here in the US and around the world recognize US dairy products for their nourishing and delicious qualities, and they are purchasing US dairy products in record quantities. In turn, American dairy companies are delivering economic benefits to the communities they operate in.”

Additionally, IDFA highlighted the following figures regarding dairy products’ impact on the US economy:

• Cheese adds $64.5 billion in direct economic impact and supports 59,538 dairy industry jobs.

• Milk adds $50.9 billion and supports 67,995 jobs.

• Dairy ingredients add $20.4 billion and support 16,552 jobs.

• Ice cream adds $11.4 billion and supports 27,066 jobs.

• Yogurt and cultured products add $8.3 billion and support 10,867 jobs.

The various findings from IDFA’s 2023 Economic Impact Study can be accessed online through a tool on the association’s Dairy Delivers webpage. The tool includes an interactive map that can further break down the numbers by state and by district.