INFOGRAPHIC: U.S. Manufacturing Facts and Figures

INFOGRAPHIC: U.S. Manufacturing Facts and Figures
By the Numbers: Celebrating How U.S. Manufacturers Drive the Economy
Last Friday marked the third annual Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY), a growing grassroots movement of manufacturers dedicated to bringing attention to modern North American manufacturing and empowering the professionals who compose it. Here we highlight some of the contributions of U.S. manufacturers to the nation’s economy.

Since 2012, manufacturers all across the United States, U.S. territories and Canada have opened their doors to the public on the first Friday of October, and often throughout the month. Organized by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Institute of Standards & Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), MFG DAY is designed to highlight new technologies and innovations, address common misperceptions about the sector and inspire the next generation of manufacturing professionals.

In just three years, the grassroots movement has grown to include more than 1,600 manufacturing events, such as factory tours and facility open houses, educational programs at community and technical colleges, industrial job fairs and professional conferences.

Last week, in the lead-up to MFG DAY 2014, President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation declaring Oct. 3, 2014, National Manufacturing Day.

On National Manufacturing Day, we celebrate all those who proudly stand behind our goods and services made in America, and we renew our commitment to winning the race for the jobs of tomorrow,” the president said. “Today's science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] graduates will power the next chapter of American production and innovation, and harnessing their potential is an economic imperative.”

In observance of National Manufacturing Day, explore a variety of facts and figures about U.S. manufacturing and manufacturers across the nation.


17 Million: Manufacturing supports more than 17 million U.S. jobs, or more than one in every seven private-sector workers. (1)

700,000: The U.S. manufacturing sector has added 700,000 jobs since February 2010, the fastest pace of job growth since the 1990s. (2)

4th: Manufacturing was the fourth-largest employer in the U.S. — behind only health care and social assistance; retail trade; and accommodation and food services  in 2011 (the latest year for which data are available). (3)

59.7%: Of the total known dollar value of U.S. exported goods, 59.7 percent came from the manufacturing sector in 2011. (4)

$118.5 Billion: The U.S. aerospace industry, composed significantly of manufacturers, contributed $118.5 billion in export sales to the nation’s economy in 2012. (5)

$44 Billion: U.S. exports of medical devices, in key product categories identified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, exceeded $44 billion in 2012. (6)

$5.5 Trillion: The value of shipment of goods for all U.S. manufacturing industries totaled $5.5 trillion in 2011. (7)

75%: A key driver of American innovation, U.S. manufacturing accounts for 75 percent, or three-quarters, of private-sector research and development (R&D), while issuing the vast majority of patents.(8)

The following infographic tells more of U.S. manufacturing's story, illustrating how the sector helps drive the economy, offers diverse and rewarding careers, and more.

Infographic: What Manufacturing Really Looks Like - Celebrating Manufacturing Day
Click image for full size. Source: NIST MEP

(1)’s Briefing Room
(2)’s Briefing Room
(3) U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 County Business Patterns
(5) Select USA’s Aerospace Industry Profile
(7) U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufactures 2011

(8)’s Briefing Room

David Butcher has been writing about business and technology trends in the industrial B2B space for more than a decade. Currently a marketing communications specialist at MasterControl, he previously served as editor of ThomasNet News’ Industry Market Trends newsletter and blog and as assistant editor for Technology Marketing Corp.’s Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the State University of New York, Purchase.