Facts About Manufacturing

Warn Industries, Portland OR
  • In the most recent data, manufacturers contributed $2.09 trillion to the economy. This figure has steadily risen since 2009 when manufacturers contributed $1.73 trillion. The sector accounts for 12.0 percent of GDP.1 For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.37 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.2  
  • Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.6 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs. More than 12 million Americans (or 9 percent of the workforce) are employed directly in manufacturing.3  
  • In 2013, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $77,506 annually, including pay and benefits. The average worker in all industries earned $62,546.4  
  • Manufacturers in the United States are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, leading to higher wages and living standards.5  
  • Manufacturers in the United States perform more than three-quarters of all private-sector R&D in the nation, driving more innovation than any other sector.6  
  • Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the ninth-largest economy in the world.7     

Bureau of Economic Analysis, Industry Economic Accounts (2014).

2 Bureau of Economic Analysis, Industry Input-Output Tables (2013).

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), with estimate of total employment supported by manufacturing calculated by NAM using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (2013, 2014).

4 Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Economic Accounts by Industry (2013).

5 NAM calculations based on data from the United NationsBureau of Labor Statistics and the International Labour Organization

6 Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Economic Accounts by Industry (2013).

7 Bureau of Economic Analysis, Industry Economic Accounts (2014) and International Monetary Fund (2013).