Celebrating Manufacturing Day, Celebrating Small Business

By at 3 October, 2019, 11:23 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

The U.S. Census Bureau marks the first Friday in October – October 4 this year – as “Manufacturing Day.” Let’s be clear: If you are celebrating U.S. manufacturers and their workers on Manufacturing Day, then you are celebrating small businesses.

Leading up to October 4, the Census Bureau has been serving up all kinds of information about manufacturing. For example, the manufacturing sector ties as the nation’s fourth largest industry in terms of employees, with 11.6 million workers. Also, manufacturing workers earn 13 percent more than the average U.S. worker ($57,266 vs. $50,769, respectively).

The top manufacturing subsectors in terms of shipments are:

1) Transportation equipment manufacturing ($949.3 billion in 2016)

2) Food manufacturing ($764.8 billion)

3) Chemical manufacturing ($723.3 billion)

4) Petroleum and coal products manufacturing ($430.3 billion)

5) Machinery manufacturing ($348.4 billion).

Finally, 6 in 10 U.S. export dollars come from manufacturing. But there’s more. Manufacturing is all about small business. Consider the following (2016 latest Census Bureau data):

• 74.7 percent of employer firms in manufacturing have fewer than 20 workers;

• 93.5 percent of employer firms in manufacturing have fewer than 100 employees;

• and 98.5 percent of employer firms in manufacturing have fewer than 500 employees.

On this Manufacturing Day 2019, please keep in mind all the small businesses that make up this critical sector of the economy.

About Manufacturing Day: Manufacturers across the country and across the street use MFG Day as an opportunity to inspire and recruit the next generation of manufacturers. Find events in your area by clicking here. There are more than 2.500 events nationwide.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

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