Equipment manufacturers now support 2.8 million jobs, according to a new report released by the AEM this week and contribute $288 billion dollars a year to the U.S. economy.

Market Size and Economic Contributions of the Off-Highway Industry provides a detailed assessment of the equipment manufacturing industry’s contributions to the economy and how it supports 12 percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. The report, produced by IHS Markit, was released at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, North America’s largest construction trade show, on Tuesday this week.

“Every day the 2.8 million men and women of our industry roll up their sleeves and go to work building state-of-the-art equipment in communities across the country,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “This report tells the story of the people who make America by building the combine the farmer uses to harvest his corn and the excavator the construction worker uses to build our roads and bridges.”

The report focuses on several measures of economic value, including the total number of jobs supported by the equipment manufacturing industry and its contribution to the amount of gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States.

Highlights of the equipment manufacturing industry’s contribution include:

  •  2.8 million jobs supported across all 50 states
  •  $288 billion a year contributed to the U.S. economy
  •  Equipment manufacturers support at least 10,000 jobs in 44 states
  •  The top five states with the most jobs supported by the equipment manufacturing industry are Texas (622,882), Illinois (245,624), Wisconsin (187,699), Ohio (163,990), and Indiana (139,842)
  •  $791 billion dollars a year are generated by in total equipment sales and output
  •  $53.7 billion paid each year in federal, state, and local taxes
  •  Equipment manufacturing jobs pay 35 percent more than the national average

Manufacturers of construction, mining, and agriculture equipment remain a critical part of the U.S. economy as the report shows significant overall direct job growth for the industry over the last three years, at a rate of nearly 10 percent, fueled in part by historic tax reform and regulatory relief. However, tariffs on steel and other critical inputs, along with a protracted trade war with China, caused direct job growth to slow to just 1.2 percent in 2019, with both the construction and agriculture equipment sectors contracting by 0.7 and 0.6 percent respectively.

The new report comes as a recent national poll shows that 91 percent of registered voters say manufacturing is critical or important to the U.S. economy. The same poll also shows that more than three quarters of registered voters want to know how presidential candidates plan to support and grow manufacturing in the United States.

“2020 is an important election year for our industry, and for all manufacturers,” said Jeff Reed, AEM Board Chair, and president and CEO of Reed International/VSS Macropaver. “Voters look to elected officials and candidates to support pro-manufacturing policies. That means supporting free and fair trade, infrastructure investment, strong agricultural communities, and training the next generation of America’s workforce, all of which is critically important to the 2.8 million men and women of our industry.”

To keep equipment manufacturing front and center in 2020, AEM is launching a series of initiatives to educate and engage the men and women of the industry on the policy issues that matter. This includes the “AEM 2020 Manufacturing Express,” a three-month, 20-state bus tour that will highlight the importance of equipment manufacturing to communities across the country, connect manufacturing voters with elected officials and candidates, and promote civic engagement. The bus tour is being unveiled today, at a 2:30 pm PT press event at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas.

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