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The Aerospace Industries Association in collaboration with S&P Global Market Intelligence today released “Facts & Figures,” a glimpse into the state of the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry and its contribution to the U.S. economy. Informed by 2022 data, key findings in this study measure contributions made by the A&D industry in terms of workforce, sales, labor income, and taxes. 

“This year’s ‘Facts and Figures’ illustrates the American aerospace and defense industry’s vital role in driving our economy and ensuring our national security and is evidence that the industry has returned to pre-pandemic levels of employment and economic contributions,” said Eric Fanning AIA’s President and CEO. “As our industry continues to evolve, this data lays out challenges, opportunities, and advancements related to the aerospace and defense workforce, value, and potential.” 

The workforce remains the backbone of the A&D industry, powering its many contributions to the U.S. economy, innovation, and national security. After dipping in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, employment rose beyond 2019 levels to a total workforce of 2.2 million in 2022 — the highest level since AIA began tracking this data. A&D jobs can be found in every state and represent approximately 1.47 percent of the nation’s total employment base, holding steady with respect to the industry share before the pandemic.  

The supply chain, including small- and mid-sized businesses, drives the majority — nearly 58 percent — of industry employment. Fifty-seven percent of employment comes from the commercial aerospace sector, while defense and national security employment makes up the remaining 43 percent. These jobs are highly skilled and good-paying, with an average salary of $108,900, about 55 percent above the national average. 

The industry’s global leadership of aircraft and aerospace products also surged in 2022. Last year, the American A&D industry generated over $952 billion in total sales — up 6.7 percent over 2021 levels. Of this, $537 billion was generated through direct industry output and $415 billion was generated through indirect output, demonstrating the value of the domestic A&D supply chain. In total, the industry generated $418 billion in economic value, or 1.65 percent of total nominal GDP for the United States. This level is up nearly 7 percent above 2021.  

Trade statistics further underscore the message that the world wants to buy what the American A&D industry is selling. In 2022, A&D exports rose by 4.4 percent to a total of $104.8 billion. The leading destinations for U.S. A&D exports in 2022 were Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. A&D imports declined to $27.5 billion, with top countries of origin including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. 

Bolstered by the return to pre-pandemic levels of air travel, 2022 was also marked by strong, bipartisan support for increased defense investment in the United States and abroad, which helps the shared A&D supply chain. At the same time, macroeconomic pressures such as inflation and ongoing supply chain delays are driving up costs and creating workforce challenges. Investments in supply chain management will help maintain stability during challenging times, ensuring continuity in production and job security. 

Find more information on Facts and Figures, including graphic resources, here

Facts and Figures Data, collected for the 2022 calendar year

  • The U.S A&D industry had more than 2.2 million in the workforce.  
  • Jobs supported by the A&D industry represent approximately 1.47 percent of the nation’s total employment base. 
  • Nearly 58 percent of employment comes from the shared supply chain. 
  • Across the four subsectors of the A&D industry, aeronautics/aircraft is the largest employer, directly supporting approximately 602,000 jobs in 2022. The land and sea systems subsector supports about 155,000 workers; the space subsector, about 82,000; and the cyber subsector, around 94,000. 
  • The average labor income per job within the A&D industry amounted to just over $108,900, or approximately 55 percent above the national average, reflecting the highly skilled nature of the workforce. 
  • Industry sales revenues climbed 6.7 percent from 2021, totaling $952 billion. 
  • Of this, $537 billion was generated through direct industry output, and $415 billion was generated through indirect, supply chain output. 
  • Every million dollars in end-use sales supports four employees across end-use manufacturing and the supply chain. 
  • The A&D industry generated $418 billion in economic value — 1.65 percent of total nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States; this is nearly 7 percent higher than 2021. 
  • Industry exports rose 4.4 percent in 2022 to a total value of $104.8 billion. 
  • The U.S. A&D industry exported to 213 countries in 2022, up from 205 to 2021. 
  • The total trade balance for U.S. A&D exports and imports is +$77.3 billion. 


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