2015 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Aerospace & Defense Industry

In January 2016, the Aerospace Industries Association commissioned  business information firm IHS, Inc. to quantify the economic contributions of the U.S. Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry to the U.S. economy and provide enhanced understanding of the industry’s extensive supply chain, by economic sector at the national and state level.  The key findings of this study measure the economic contribution the A&D industry makes in terms of employment, value added (contribution to GDP), sales (output), labor income and taxes within the broader economy.

In the study, IHS estimates that in 2015 the U.S. aerospace and defense industry fueled the following contributions to the U.S. economy:

  • Supported 1.7 million jobs within businesses producing end-user goods and services and within the industry’s supply chain, with about 531,000 jobs in the industry’s commercial aerospace segment (e.g. civil and general aviation aircraft, helicopters and space systems) and 511,000 jobs in the defense and national security segment of the industry (e.g. military aircraft, ground and sea systems, armaments and space systems).
  • Represented approximately two percent of the nation’s employment base and 13 percent of the nation’s manufacturing employment base.
  • Generated $300 billion in economic value, representing 1.8 percent of total nominal Gross Domestic Product in the U.S., and 10 percent of manufacturing output.
  • Produced labor income approximately 44 percent above the national average – $93,000 average labor income per job – reflecting the highly skilled nature of the workforce.
  • Provided tax receipts to federal, state and local governments from companies and their employees of $63 billion, or about 1.7 percent of total tax revenues.

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