Report Shows Agriculture’s Growing Impact On U.S. Economy, Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Levels

Published online: Mar 22, 2023 Articles
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Washington – Today, 25 food and agriculture groups released the seventh annual Feeding the Economy report, revealing food and agriculture industries and their suppliers contribute over $8.6 trillion to the U.S. economy, nearly one-fifth of total national output and a 22 percent increase since the 2019 report.

Providing data on jobs, wages, and economic output, this farm-to-fork analysis illustrates the food and agriculture sector’s impact on local and nationwide economic activity. The data also underscores this sector’s resilience and reliability amid unprecedented global and domestic crises, including the commodity shock following the war in Ukraine and continued supply chain disruptions.

This year’s report shows the U.S. food and agriculture sector directly supports nearly 23 million jobs, provides $927 billion in wages, and is particularly vital to rural communities across America. Notably, the 2023 report reveals that the manufacturing of agricultural products accounts for nearly one-fifth of total manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Overall, more than 46 million jobs are supported across the food and agriculture supply chain, increasing nearly 2 percent since the 2019 report despite the economic challenges and disruptions associated with the global pandemic.

All 50 states displayed increased economic output in the 2023 report compared to the 2022 report, largely reflecting a rebound in national economic activity. The largest gains in total output were from Hawaii (31 percent), North Dakota (26 percent), New York (23 percent), Nevada (22 percent), and Florida (21 percent). Key findings from national data include: 

  • Total Jobs: 46,283,917 (up 1.5 percent since the 2019 report)
  • Total Wages: $2.61 trillion (up 26.2 percent since the 2019 report)
  • Total Taxes: $947.93 billion (up 3.8 percent since the 2019 report)
  • Exports: $202.2 billion (up 24.4 percent since the 2019 report)
  • Total Food and Ag Industry Economic Impact: $8.6 trillion (up 21.8 percent since the 2019 report)

The strength and growth highlighted in this year’s report reinforce that agriculture is evolving and innovating to meet the demands of the 21st century. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 1948 and 2019, land use for agriculture decreased by 28 percent while land productivity grew nearly four times and labor productivity grew more than 10 times. In fact, agriculture’s total factor productivity growth rate is among the highest of U.S. sectors.

“Agriculture is foundational to the U.S. economy, reaching far beyond the farm gate, supporting over 46 million jobs. In manufacturing, more than twice as many Americans are manufacturing agricultural products as cars and trucks,” said Corn Refiners Association President and CEO John Bode. “The resilience of the food and agriculture sector is clear – all 50 states increased economic output in the 2023 report.”

“This study highlights the impact the greater food and ag sector industries have on the American economy and the sector’s critical role in providing economic opportunity, nutritional value, and safe food for all Americans,” said American Bakers Association President and CEO Eric Dell.

“The Feeding the Economy report has focused on the jobs and economic activity created across the food value chain – from crop inputs to the services that it takes to put food on the table. Today, in the face of supply chain disruptions and the Ukraine Conflict, we truly need to think about the urgent need to feed people in addition to the important role that agriculture plays in our economy,” added CropLife America President and CEO Chris Novak.

This latest report, along with additional quotes from sponsoring organizations, can be found at www.FeedingTheEconomy.com.

Sponsoring organizations include American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Frozen Food Institute, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Corn Refiners Association, CropLife America, The Fertilizer Institute, FMI – The Food Industry Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Grain and Feed Association, National Grocers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association, SNAC International, The Sugar Association, U.S. Dairy Export Council, and U.S. Grains Council.