U.S. equipment manufacturing industry rebounds post-pandemic

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has released the latest economic impact report for the equipment manufacturing industry ahead of the organization’s largest trade show ConExpo 2023, highlighting the industry’s return to growth and increased output following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report was prepared by the Market Intelligence Team at S&P Global and details the impact of the three major sectors – agriculture, construction, and mining – that make up the equipment manufacturing industry.
The return to growth for the equipment manufacturing industry in 2022 is part of a broader rebound in U.S. manufacturing output, which saw nominal output increase by an estimated 14 percent in 2022. The 4.2 percent employment growth seen by the equipment manufacturing industry in 2022 outpaced the broader manufacturing employment growth of 3.8 percent seen last year.
“The equipment manufacturing industry has shown time and again that it is a resilient force in the North American economy, weathering everything from global pandemics to supply chain disruptions with strength and determination. As we look to the future, we can be confident that this industry will continue to adapt and innovate in the face of new challenges, providing stable jobs and economic opportunities for communities across the continent,” said AEM president Megan Tanel.
A gradual return to normal conditions for global supply chains and increased availability of raw materials have helped U.S. manufacturing turn a corner, but persistent labor shortages and low inventories still pose a risk. The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, hit an all-time high in November 2021, but by February 2023 it had retreated to just below the historical average. This suggests that on average, global supply chain conditions have begun to return to normal. While the industry may see some retrenchment this year, primarily due to geopolitical instability and policy uncertainty, the next few years should see steady output growth supported by a rebound in investment.
Key findings from the AEM Economic Impact Report include:
  • The equipment manufacturing industry supports 2.35 million jobs, including direct, indirect, and induced employment, in the United States.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry comprises 11 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing employment base, or 1 in 9 U.S. manufacturing jobs.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry contributes $316 billion to the nation’s GDP annually.
  • On average, equipment manufacturing jobs pay 33 percent above the national average.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry supports more than 1,000 jobs in 44 states, with a total employment impact of more than 10,000 in 32 states. The top 10 states support a total of 1.6 million jobs.
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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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