Manufacturing in America: By the Numbers

Today is the first annual national Manufacturing Day, when facilities across the country invite the public to learn more about the processes and skills involved in modern production. To commemorate the occasion, we look at the powerful (and growing) role of manufacturing in the U.S. economy.

Friday Oct. 5th marks the first annual Manufacturing Day, with manufacturers across the United States hosting special events and open houses to raise awareness about the complex, high-tech processes involved in modern production work and the value of a career in the manufacturing sector.

While U.S. manufacturing suffered numerous setbacks during the recession, it has rebounded strongly and leads the ongoing economic recovery. There are still challenges ahead, but manufacturing is thriving in the U.S., forming one of the pillars of the country’s financial success. Here we look at the impressive statistics underlying this key industry, showcasing the breadth and scale of domestic manufacturing.


Credit: David Maiolo

$1.84 Trillion
Amount of value added by manufacturing to the U.S. economy in 2011
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Percentage of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) contributed by manufacturing last year
Source: Ibid.

Amount added to the U.S. economy for every dollar spent in manufacturing
Source: Ibid.

$2.76 Trillion
Total value of materials used in the manufacturing in 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$50.9 Billion
Value of manufacturing contract work in 2010
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

$42.5 Billion
Value of purchased fuels used by the manufacturing sector in 2010
Source: Ibid.

Approximate rise in manufacturing GDP between 1947 and 2008
Source: The Manufacturing Institute

Rate of growth of durable goods manufacturing in 2011, which was the largest contributor to overall U.S. economic growth for the year
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Percentage of total manufacturing GDP represented by the four largest manufacturing industries: food; chemicals; computers and electronic products; and fabricated metal products
Source: The Manufacturing Institute


Credit: MobiusDaXter

12 Million
Number of workers employed directly by the various manufacturing industries as of June 2012, representing 9 percent of the overall U.S. workforce
Source: U.S. Department of Labor

17 Million
Total number of jobs supported by the manufacturing industry, accounting for roughly one out of six private-sector jobs
Source: The Manufacturing Institute

Unemployment rate in the manufacturing sector, compared to the national average of 7.8 percent
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor

Number of job openings in the manufacturing sector as of June 2012
Source: Ibid.

Number of machinists in U.S. manufacturing in 2011
Source: Ibid.

$540 Billion
Total annual payroll for manufacturing employees in 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$170 Billion
Total value of fringe benefits to manufacturing workers in 2010
Source: Ibid.

$300 Billion
Total value of production workers’ wages in 2010
Source: Ibid.

15 Billion
Number of production hours worked in 2010
Source: Ibid.

Average annual earnings by an American manufacturing worker in 2010, compared to $56,436 among all U.S. workers
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

$195 Billion
Amount spent by the U.S. manufacturing sector on research and development in 2009, accounting for two-thirds of overall R&D spending
Source: National Science Foundation

1 to 4
Number of workers employed by the largest category of manufacturing firms—small businesses, with over 100,000 small manufacturing shops across the country
Source: The Manufacturing Institute

$500 Billion
Approximate value added to the U.S. economy by manufacturers in just five states: California, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania
Source: Ibid.


Percentage of global manufactured goods that are produced in the U.S.
Source: The Financial Times

Ranking among the world’s largest economies if U.S. manufacturing were its own country
Source: National Association of Manufacturers

$1.48 Trillion
Total value of goods exported from the U.S. in 2011
Source: International Trade Administration

$281 Billion
Total value of goods exports to Canada, our leading trade partner, in 2011, followed by Mexico ($198 billion) and China ($104 billion)
Source: Ibid.

$218 Billion
Value of transportation equipment exports from U.S. manufacturers in 2011, the top export category, followed by computer and electronic products ($201 billion), chemicals ($197 billion) and machinery ($157 billion)
Source: Ibid.

Percentage of U.S. exports derived from the manufacturing sector
Source: The Manufacturing Institute

Rate of increase of U.S. manufactured goods exports between 2000 and 2008
Source: Ibid.



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