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Nearly 4.5 Million Jobs Supported By $553 Billion U.S. Chemical Industry

Dr. Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.

America’s chemical industry is a $553 billion enterprise directly providing more than half a million high-paying jobs across the United States, according to the 2019 edition of the Guide to the Business of Chemistry, released last week. Each one of these jobs helps create others, almost 4.5 million in fact.

Prepared annually by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department, the Guide highlights chemistry’s significant contributions to the U.S. and world economies. It divides the business into more than 30 categories of production, highlighting distinct features such as growth dynamics, markets, and new developments.

Individual sections provide detailed information about important topics including financial performance, U.S. and global trade, innovation, capital investment, employment, environmental and safety statistics, energy, and distribution.

Key findings include:

  • American chemistry is the second-largest chemical producer by country, providing nearly 14 percent of the world’s chemicals
  • We account for 10 percent of all U.S. good exports, $140 billion annually, and we are among the nation’s largest exporters
  • We provide 542,000 skilled, good-paying American jobs
  • For every job created by the business of chemistry, 7.2 are generated elsewhere in the economy, totaling more than 4.4 million jobs
  • We invested nearly $10 billion in R&D in 2018

American chemistry remains in demand across the world, despite trade tensions. The U.S. chemical industry produces a large and growing trade surplus, reaching $31 billion in 2018. Free trade and open markets are essential to growth and job creation in the industry, and they provide significant benefits to the broader economy.

The chemistry industry’s contributions extend to the benefits provided by its products. A driver of innovation, we provide the materials necessary to make life healthy, safe and comfortable – contributing to a higher standard of living for people in our country and around the world. Solutions from our industry are needed to provide a safe and plentiful food supply, clean air and water, safe living conditions, efficient and affordable energy, and life-saving medical treatments.

The Guide to the Business of Chemistry is available to ACC members at no cost and to non-members for $750. To order or download an electronic version, click here. If you would like to order a bound, printed version, click here. Orders may also be placed by calling the ACC store: (301) 617-7824.

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