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ANNUAL REPORT2023 Facts & Figures: U.S. Aerospace & Defense

Each year, AIA tracks the changes in the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. Among the metrics measured are employment rates, economic output, trade statistics, and state data. Key findings are highlighted here for an at-a-glance view of how the industry fared through the year.

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State of the Industry

Bolstered by the return to pre-pandemic levels of air travel, 2022 was marked by strong, bipartisan support for increased defense investment in the United States and abroad. Despite the headwinds, the A&D industry made progress investing in its workforce, generating economic growth, advancing innovation, and enabling national security.

Creating Jobs


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2.2M Workers

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$240B in Compensation

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Wages 55% Higher Than Average


At the heart of the A&D industry is its workforce, powering the recovery of air travel, designing more sustainable aviation technologies, providing cutting-edge defense and deterrence capabilities, and developing the systems that will further space exploration. Despite challenges, the 2022 A&D workforce stood at more than 2.2 million strong, with employees in every state in the U.S. Jobs supported by the A&D industry represent approximately 1.47 percent of the nation’s total employment base. The A&D workforce increased by over 75,000 employees in 2022.

Wages and Benefits 55% Higher Than the National Average

These are highly skilled, good-paying jobs, with an average salary of over $108,900, about 55 percent above the national average. In 2022, the industry paid out $240 billion in compensation.

Supply Chain Employees Account for 57.7% of A&D Workforce

More than 57.7 percent of employment comes from the shared A&D supply chain, an extensive network of suppliers composed of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.

Workforce Makeup by Sector

The majority of the industry’s direct employment is through the commercial aerospace sector, with a 57 percent share, while defense and national security make up the remaining 43 percent. Across the four subsectors of the A&D industry, aeronautics and aircraft is the largest employer, directly supporting almost 603,000 workers. The land and sea systems subsector is the next largest with about 155,000 workers. Another 811,000 workers represent the space subsector, while about 94,000 are employed in the cyber subsector.

Supporting the Economy


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1.65% of Total U.S. GDP

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$418B in Economic Value

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$952B in Total A&D Industry Sales Revenue in 2022

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Despite the inflationary pressure and continued supply chain disruptions, the industry’s workforce generated $952 billion in combined sales in 2022, a 6.7 percent increase from the prior year. That is promising news for America, as every one million dollars in end-use sales supports four employees across end-use manufacturing and the supply chain. Additionally, the A&D industry generated $418 billion in economic value, which represented 1.65 percent of total nominal GDP in the U.S.

Leading Trade Activity


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$77.3B Trade Balance Value

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$104.8B Total Exports


A key component to workforce success is industry’s global leadership in innovation and exports of aircraft and aerospace products. In 2022, A&D industry exports rose by 4.4 percent to a total value of $104.8 billion.

The Industry’s Top Trade Partners

From sustainable aviation technologies to defense systems, partners around the world trust American companies to provide the best capabilities at the best value. The leading export destinations in 2022 Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

The leading import destinations were France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. In 2022, the U.S. A&D industry exported to 213 countries, a testament to industry’s role in America’s economic success and reputation as a global leader in innovation.


Tracking State Data

In 2021, the industry supported jobs and communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A&D Economy Impact by State

Review the 2021 employment rates, industry revenue, value added, and tax receipts for your state in our annual state data report.

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