AA releases report on US industry value


A new study released by the Aluminium Association shows that the U.S. aluminium industry directly employs more than 164,000 workers and drives $73 billion in direct economic output.

Overall employment in the domestic aluminium industry has been largely steady for most of the past decade though overall jobs declined slightly between our 2020 and 2022 studies.

In total, the U.S. aluminium industry supports more than 634,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs, and nearly $176 billion in economic output. The 2022 Economic Impact of the Aluminum Industry study was completed by economic research firm John Dunham & Associates in March 2022 (with the impact data finalised in January 2022). The report uses standard econometric models first developed by the U.S. Forest Service and now maintained by IMPLAN, Inc.

US Aluminium Industry Economic Contribution 2022 
Jobs (FTE)164,402225,236244,781634,419
Wages$13,547,560,600 $18,379,530,800 $15,171,734,500 $47,098,825,900 
Economic Impact$73,278,990,100 $57,385,183,000 $45,658,460,400 $176,322,633,500 
Taxes   $14,966,864,600 

Estimated aluminium demand in North America was up 7.7% year-over-year in 2021, significantly outpacing U.S. GDP growth. In the past year, the industry has collectively committed or invested nearly $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing — adding to more than $4 billion invested over the past decade. The international picture is also positive. The International Aluminium Institute recently released a report developed by CRU Aluminium projecting that aluminium demand will grow by nearly 40% globally by 2030 – with significant growth in North America.

“We’re incredibly encouraged by the position of the U.S. aluminium industry today, “ said Charles Johnson, president & CEO of the Aluminium Association. “Like all manufacturers, we face some headwinds during these uncertain times, but our underlying demand and investment picture remains quite robust. This is a resilient sector of the American manufacturing economy.”

Certain segments of the industry thrived while others were challenged amid Covid-19 disruptions over the past two years. Secondary aluminium production (recycling) (+7.3%), aluminum coatings (+6.2%), and sheet & plate (+5.8%) jobs all increased notably between 2020 and 2022. 

After showing signs of improvement in our 2020 study, primary aluminium production (-9.6%) jobs declined with some plant closures and curtailments occurring during the period. Jobs in aluminium forging (-10.5%) also dropped by more than 10% between these studies likely due to Covid-driven declines in major markets like aerospace. Taking the long view, U.S. aluminium jobs have stayed essentially flat over the past decade despite the loss of more than 8,000 jobs in primary aluminium production – a 65% decline.

U.S. Aluminium Industry Jobs by Sector: 2013- 2022

 (revised)(revised)(revised)2020-20222013 – 2022
Primary           12,787                4,879               3,131           4,829            4,367 -9.57%-65.85%
Secondary              9,428                9,507               9,412           8,691            9,329 7.34%-1.05%
Sheet+Extrusions           61,806              62,327             63,757         62,883          63,895 1.61%3.38%
Foundry*           45,234              50,867             51,364         50,551          49,706 -1.67%9.89%
Forging           10,328              10,462             10,888         10,464            9,362 -10.53%-9.35%
Coating              2,814                3,132               2,838           2,664            2,828 6.16%0.50%
MSC           23,142              24,631             26,563         26,146          24,915 -4.71%7.66%
Direct Manufacturing         165,539           165,804          167,953      166,228        164,402 -1.10%-0.69%
 (revised)  2020 – 20222018 – 2022
Sheet & Plate           16,163              15,749             16,655 5.75%3.04%
Extrusions           47,594              47,134             47,240 0.22%-0.74%

“These trendlines are an indication of U.S. aluminium’s ability to adapt and innovate. Even as we’ve seen declines in some areas, we’ve seen notable growth and investment in others,” Johnson added. “At the end of the day, America remains one of the best places in the world to invest in aluminium.”

Today’s report is an update of a study completed in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2020. Data from prior years’ studies have been reviewed and updated for accuracy, providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the U.S. aluminium industry’s economic impact. 

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Workers directly employed by the U.S. aluminum industry earn more than $13 billion in wages and benefits.
  • Indirect and induced employment creates an additional $33 billion in wages and benefits.
  • When all employment supported by the industry is taken into account, these jobs generate nearly $15 billion in federal, state and local taxes.

For the purposes of the report, the aluminium industry is defined to include alumina refining; primary aluminum smelting; secondary aluminium production; manufacturing of aluminium sheets, plates, foils, extrusions, forgings, coatings, and powders; aluminium foundries; metals service centres and wholesalers. The study measures the number of jobs in this industry, the wages paid to employees, total economic output and federal and state business taxes generated.

The complete study, including an interactive map with economic contribution breakdowns by state and congressional district, is available at www.aluminum.org/economy.

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