9 Manufacturing Facts to Kick off 2023
At the beginning of any new year, it’s important to look at both where you’ve come from and where you’re going. For many manufacturing executives, this can feel like a grim prospect.
2022 was a down year for industry, with the Manufacturing PMI slipping into contraction territory. Meanwhile, sentiment about 2023 is poor, based on expectations of an impending recession. Nevertheless, it’s important to find positivity wherever possible — and thankfully, manufacturers don’t need to look too far.
Here’s a look at nine key manufacturing facts setting a positive tone for 2023 and beyond. Keep them in mind when the outlook is bleak — they represent the strength, resilience, and necessity of manufacturing, even through hard times.
- Manufacturers contributed $2.77 trillion at the annual rate to the economy in 2022. This marks an all-time high, as value-added output rose to record levels for durable goods and nondurable goods alike.
- For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, the overall economy nets $2.60. This figure includes direct and indirect impacts, representing one of the biggest sectoral multipliers in the U.S. economy.
- As of 2022, the manufacturing sector employs 12.93 million workers. The labor market remains a bright spot in the U.S. economy, with the most workers added so far of any year since 1994. Today’s 12.93-million figure is the highest since November 2008.
- Manufacturing employees earn, on average, $95,990, including pay and benefits. Nonsupervisory workers saw significant increases in their hourly wage from 2021, thanks in part to a tight labor market where companies prioritize attracting and retaining skilled workers.
- As of 2021, U.S.-manufactured goods exports totaled roughly $1.4 trillion annually. After weakening due to the global pandemic, U.S.-manufactured exports rose nearly to 2018 levels, not far from the 2014 all-time high of $1.403 trillion.
- World trade in manufactured goods has more than doubled over the last decade. Manufactured goods exports have grown exponentially in recent decades, with nondurable goods growing the fastest — three times larger in 2021 compared to 2002 figures.
- Manufacturing in the U.S. would be the eighth-largest economy in the world. If the U.S. manufacturing sector was taken alone, it would be one of the largest economies worldwide. In terms of GDP, only six national economies would rank higher: China, Japan, Germany, the U.K., Italy, and Canada.
- Foreign direct investment in U.S. manufacturing reached $1.9 trillion in 2020. U.S. manufacturing is growing more competitive globally, especially as companies look to onshore their supply chains due to today’s current disruptions.
- Manufacturers consume more than 30% of the nation’s generated energy. According to 2018 figures, producers consumed 32.3 quadrillion BTU of energy, or 32.3% of all energy consumed. The switch to green, renewable energy could not be more critical for the manufacturing sector.
While manufacturers face many challenges in 2023 and beyond, the data shows the industry is one of both resiliency and significant importance. Many industries, from tourism to energy, retail, and more, face headwinds in the coming year. Manufacturing’s strong underpinnings — which form the backbone of the economy — are set to support them, creating direct and indirect economic impacts that can be measured in terms of not just dollars and cents, but also stable jobs and technological innovation.