US dairy’s GDP share shrinks to under 3% as wages, exports and tax contributions grow

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Dairy Cheese Agriculture Usa

IDFA’s biannual report revealed the sector paid around $7bn more in wages, $5bn more in taxes, and supported around 3.2m jobs since 2021.

The cheese sector has had the biggest economic impact, generating more than $64.4bn, while the milk industry supported the highest number of jobs - 67,995.

The dairy ingredients sector added $20.4bn in direct economic impact and supported over 16,552 jobs, while ice cream $11.4bn, 27,066 job) and yogurt and cultured products ($8.3bn, 10,867 jobs) also made significant contributions to the US economy. The total impact the dairy industry has had on the US economy since 2021 increased by $41bn, according to the IDFA, totaling $793.75bn.

The industry also contributed almost $72bn in federal, state and local taxes, up from $67.1m in 2021, and paid $49bn in direct wages for workers, up from $42bn. Around 60,000 new jobs have been added since 2021, with wages rising by 11%.

Dairy’s share of the US GDP contracted to under 3% from 3.5% in 2021, while total exports came to $9.5bn, up from $6.5bn two years ago.

“The U.S. 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, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Consumers here in the U.S. and around the world recognize U.S. dairy products for their nourishing and delicious qualities, and they are purchasing U.S. dairy products in record quantities. In turn, American dairy companies are delivering economic benefits to the communities they operate in.”

IDFA’s 2023 economic impact report, including a state-by-state breakdown is available from





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