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August 2021

Industry on Tap: Wineries

Erin Delaney

This Spotlight on Statistics examines historical employment trends for wineries and other components of the beverage manufacturing industry. Additionally, the Spotlight looks at trends for wages, number of establishments, and consumer prices in the winery industry and compares them to trends among distilleries, breweries, and soft drink and ice manufacturing. Let's take a look.

Nearly 64,000 people worked in wineries across the United States in 2020

U.S. employment in the winery industry exceeded 60,000 for the first time in 2016. Aside from a small decrease from 2008 to 2009, employment increased steadily from 2001⸺when the data were first collected⸺until 2019. From 2019 to 2020, employment decreased from 70,596 to 63,820, or 10 percent.

The largest over-the-year employment net increase in the industry occurred in 2014, adding 4,493 jobs. The largest 12-month employment percentage increases occurred in 2003 and 2014, at 12.3 and 9.3 percent, respectively.

California leads the nation in the number of jobs in wineries

In 2001, 17 states had employment data for the winery industry that met BLS publication criteria. Among those states, California had the most winery jobs (19,576), followed by Washington (949) and Oregon (837). By 2020, employment data for the winery industry were available for 40 states. Not surprisingly, California continued to hold the most winery jobs in 2020 (36,001), followed by—again—Washington (4,190) and Oregon (3,310).

Wineries accounted for 24 percent of jobs in beverage manufacturing in 2020

In 2001, there were 175,451 jobs in the beverage manufacturing industry. Among the four component industries within beverage manufacturing, soft drink and ice manufacturing had the largest employment share, at 66 percent, followed by breweries (16 percent), wineries (14 percent), and distilleries (4 percent).

In 2020, the beverage manufacturing industry had a total of 262,961 jobs. Although the employment share of soft drink and ice manufacturing declined from 2001 to 2020, it was still the largest, at 39 percent. The shares of the remaining three components within the beverage manufacturing industry grew from 2001, with breweries at 30 percent, wineries at 24 percent, and distilleries at 7 percent in 2020.

The number of wineries in the United States grew four and a half times from 2001 to 2020

The number of winery establishments in the United States exceeded 4,000 for the first time in 2016. In 2020, there were 5,024 wineries, more than 4 times the number in 2001. The largest 12-month percentage increases in the number of wineries occurred in 2002 (17.4 percent) and 2006 (13.1 percent).

California and Washington had the most wineries in 2020

In 2001, California had the most wineries (619), followed by Washington (81) and Oregon (65). California added more wineries (1,372) over the 2001–2020 period than any other state, continuing to be the state with the largest number of wineries, with 1,991 in 2020. Washington had the second largest number in 2020, at 435.

In 2001, 17 states recorded having wineries. By 2020, wineries were located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia had fewer than 10 wineries in 2020. All 50 states and the District of Columbia recorded an increase in the number of wineries over this 19-year period.

Wineries had the second-largest establishment share in beverage manufacturing in 2020

In 2001, there were 3,744 establishments in the beverage manufacturing industry. Among the four component industries within beverage manufacturing, soft drink and ice manufacturing had the largest establishment share, at 59 percent, followed by wineries (28 percent), breweries (11 percent), and distilleries (2 percent).

In 2020, the beverage manufacturing industry had 13,478 establishments, with breweries (38 percent) and wineries (37 percent) having the largest share of establishments in the industry. Distilleries' shares also increased from 2001, growing to 9 percent in 2020.

Soft drink and ice manufacturing was the only component of beverage manufacturing to have a declining number of establishments since 2001, and its share within the industry fell to 16 percent in 2020.

Average weekly wages in wineries were $981 in 2020

Average weekly wages for wineries were $981 in 2020, which was below the beverage manufacturing industry average of $1,058. Over the 2001–2020 period, wineries' average weekly wages ranged from $692 in 2001 to $981 in 2020, which were below the average for the beverage manufacturing industry in every year.

Employment and the number of establishments in the winery industry increased over this period

From 2001 to 2020, the winery industry gained 3,958 establishments, which was a 371 percent increase. This compared to a 4,694-establishment increase in the brewery industry (1,185 percent), and a 1,181-establishment increase in the distillery industry (1,789 percent). Total employment within the winery industry increased by 152 percent over the 2001–2020 period, which was slower than the growth rate in both the brewery industry and the distillery industry. Average weekly wages in the winery industry rose 42 percent—from $692 in 2001 to $981 in 2020. Conversely, average weekly wages within the brewery industry declined 17 percent, from $1,110 in 2001 to $924 in 2020; average weekly wages in the distillery industry increased 19 percent, from $1,088 in 2001 to $1,298 in 2020.

Consumer prices for wine away from home rose each year from 2001 to 2020

Prices for both wine away from home and alcoholic beverages away from home increased each year over the 2001–20 period. Within that time frame, wine away from home prices had its largest over-the-year increase in 2002, at 7.1 percent. Its smallest over-the-year increase was 1.4 percent in 2003 and 2016.

Consumer prices for wine at home increased each of the last 3 years

From 2001 to 2020, over-the-year price changes for wine at home ranged from an increase of 3.6 percent in 2008 to a decrease of 1.4 percent in 2010. Within the same time frame, prices for alcoholic beverages at home rose each year, peaking at a 3.2-percent increase in 2008.

For more information

This Spotlight on Statistics was written by economist Erin Delaney in the Mid-Atlantic Economic Analysis and Information branch of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For questions about this Spotlight, please email blsinfophiladelphia@bls.gov.

The data presented in this Spotlight on Statistics are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and the Consumer Price Index program (CPI). QCEW data are published quarterly and measure employment and wages reported by employers covering more than 95 percent of all U.S. jobs. QCEW data are available for counties, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, states, and the nation by industry. The CPI measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services.