Report: U.S. Industrial Bioeconomy Supports Nearly 644,000 Jobs



BioeconomyBiomanufacturing advocates today released a new report that provides a closer look at the employment, wages, and economic activity driven by the U.S. industrial bioeconomy. Authored by TEConomy Partners, LLC, the report, “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Industrial Bioeconomy,” illuminates an increasingly important segment of the U.S. economy associated with biomanufacturing and bioproducts (those other than food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals). Included in the report are state and federal figures for economic activity tied to the transformation of renewable biomass into fertilizers, bioplastics, biofuels, bio-lubricants, and a host of other industrial bioproducts, as well as the research and development of microbes, enzymes, biocatalysts, and other technologies used in modern biomanufacturing. Supporting expansion in the sector is a key goal of the National Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative, as outlined by President Biden.

“Our abundant natural resources, unparalleled agricultural sector, and strong leadership in the sciences have combined to establish America’s industrial bioeconomy as a powerful engine for U.S. growth,” said Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Industry Sectors & Product Leadership at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “These are high-tech jobs, often in union-heavy supply chains like those for biofuels, that add value to the economy at every stage. With the right support from Washington and a continued focus on renewable products, this segment has the potential to turbo-charge U.S. manufacturing.”

According to the report, in 2023, the U.S. industrial bioeconomy supported nearly 644,000 domestic jobs, contributed $210 billion to the U.S. GDP, and drove $49 billion in wages. In terms of total economic output, the top five states were Illinois, Iowa, California, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Other states, Georgia and Ohio, broke into the top five when looking specifically at direct and total employment, respectively.

“The U.S. industrial bioeconomy has remained a consistent source of domestic jobs and manufacturing strength without the need for any special strategies to bring jobs back from overseas,” explains the report. “The significant jobs multiplier demonstrates this key facet of the U.S. industrial bioeconomy. The U.S. industry provides jobs, economic activity, and sustainability throughout the U.S. A considerable competitive and policy advantage of these industrial bioeconomy jobs is their tie to U.S. soil, both literally and figuratively—these jobs are here and stay in the U.S.”

The report also found that the average industrial bioeconomy worker took home $133,600 in annual compensation and that each direct job in the sector generates or supports more than 11 additional jobs through indirect means, such as the purchase of raw materials, including agricultural commodities, and other inputs.
“Relative to other industrial sectors, the extended domestic supply chain of the U.S. industrial bioeconomy generates outsized secondary economic benefits,” wrote the authors. “This is especially true of domestic employment, where each direct job supports 11.08 additional indirect and induced jobs (total employment multiplier of 12.08). For comparison, the employment multiplier for the sector that includes solar photovoltaics is 6.50 and the multiplier for the sector that includes wind turbines is 3.73.”
The report was commissioned by a coalition of leading innovators, manufacturers, and trade associations committed to expanding the U.S. bioeconomy. Supporters include the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Clean Fuels Alliance America, National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, ADM, Aemetis, Bayer, Bunge, Marquis Energy, Novonesis, and POET.

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