Posted March 14, 2023

Live from ConExpo: New data says equipment manufacturing rebounded in '22

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) released the latest economic impact report for the equipment manufacturing industry ahead of the organization’s largest trade show CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, highlighting the industry’s return to growth and increased output following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report was prepared by the Market Intelligence Team at S&P Global and details the impact of the three major sectors – agriculture, construction, and mining – that make up the equipment manufacturing industry.

Key findings from the AEM Economic Impact Report include:

  • The equipment manufacturing industry supports 2.35 million jobs, including direct, indirect, and induced employment, in the United States.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry comprises 11 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing employment base, or 1 in 9 U.S. manufacturing jobs.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry contributes $316 billion to the nation’s GDP annually.
  • On average, equipment manufacturing jobs pay 33 percent above the national average.
  • The equipment manufacturing industry supports more than 1,000 jobs in 44 states, with a total employment impact of more than 10,000 in 32 states. The top 10 states support a total of 1.6 million jobs.

"The equipment manufacturing industry has shown time and again that it is a resilient force in the North American economy, weathering everything from global pandemics to supply chain disruptions with strength and determination. As we look to the future, we can be confident that this industry will continue to adapt and innovate in the face of new challenges, providing stable jobs and economic opportunities for communities across the continent,” said AEM President Megan Tanel.

The return to growth for the equipment manufacturing industry in 2022 is part of a broader rebound in U.S. manufacturing output, which saw nominal output increase by an estimated 14 percent in 2022. The 4.2 percent employment growth seen by the equipment manufacturing industry in 2022 outpaced the broader manufacturing employment growth of 3.8 percent seen last year.

“Equipment manufacturers, like many other sectors in the U.S. economy, have weathered economic uncertainty during a global pandemic. But we answered the call and kept our factory floors open to produce the equipment that kept critical people and goods moving. We got the job done. This report is a testament to the grit and resiliency of the 2.35 million men and women who build, power, and feed America. It is because of them, and for them, that our industry’s leaders will always look for solutions that allow us to meet the demands of tomorrow,” said 2023 AEM Chair and Komatsu North America Chairman and CEO Rod Schrader.

A gradual return to normal conditions for global supply chains and increased availability of raw materials have helped U.S. manufacturing turn a corner, but persistent labor shortages and low inventories still pose a risk. The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, hit an all-time high in November 2021, but by February 2023 it had retreated to just below the historical average. This suggests that on average, global supply chain conditions have begun to return to normal. While the industry may see some retrenchment this year, primarily due to geopolitical instability and policy uncertainty, the next few years should see steady output growth supported by a rebound in investment.

"Fueled by a legacy of grit and ingenuity, America’s equipment manufacturers can outcompete anyone, but we need the right mix of policies to continue to bolster manufacturing in America. With expanded opportunities to sell our products overseas, immigration reform that addresses our workforce needs, and improvements to the federal permitting process, equipment manufacturers can continue to invest in their communities, grow their businesses, and hire more Americans,” said AEM Senior Vice President, Government and Industry Relations Kip Eideberg.

Click here to access the 2023 AEM Economic Impact Report.