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The Manufacturing Economy

Assembly Plant
Photo Credit: The Chrysler 200 Factory Tour, an interactive online experience using Google Maps Business View technology, takes consumers inside the new 5-million-square-foot Sterling Heights Assembly Plant for a behind-the-scenes peek at how the 2015 Chrysler 200 is built.

The Applied Economics Office releases an annual report of statistics on the U.S. manufacturing industry. There are three primary aspects that this report focuses on: (1) how the U.S. industry compares to other countries, (2) the trends in the domestic industry, and (3) the industry trends compared to those in other countries. Recently, a focus on semiconductor manufacturing has been included and future work will also include biomanufacturing.


Total Manufacturing    |     Semiconductor Manufacturing     |     Biomanufacturing


Some brief figures on U.S. manufacturing include the following:

  • In 2021, Manufacturing contributed $2.3 trillion to U.S. GDP amounting to 12.0 % of total U.S. GDP.
    • Including direct and indirect (i.e., purchases from other industries) value added, manufacturing contributed an estimated 24 % of GDP.
  • In 2020, U.S. manufacturing imported 18.2 % of its intermediate goods/services, resulting in 10.6 % of the output being of foreign origin.
  • According to the Current Population Survey, there were 14.7 million employees in U.S. manufacturing in 2021, representing 9.6 % of total U.S. employment
  • Manufacturing accounted for 76.6% of total U.S. environmental impact according to NIST’s Manufacturing Cost Guide
  • Average compensation in U.S. manufacturing is 8.8 % higher than that for total private industry



Created January 12, 2023, Updated November 7, 2023