Celebrating Small Business on Manufacturing Day

By at 1 October, 2021, 9:52 am

by Raymond J. Keating –

Each year, the first Friday in October is Manufacturing Day. That means we celebrate this vital sector today. It’s a day to mark the massive contributions that manufacturing businesses and their employees make to our economy.

Manufacturing Day 2021 and Small Business

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that, “Manufacturing employs more than 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development.”

But there’s more. Manufacturing is overwhelmingly about small business.

The following table breaks down employer firms in the manufacturing sector of our economy by firm size (latest U.S. Census Bureau data 2018):

Clearly, manufacturing is overwhelmingly populated by smaller firms. In fact, out of an estimated 246,155 manufacturing employer firms (again, 2018 latest data), only 3,960 had more than 500 employees.

By the way, if we also consider the number of nonemployer manufacturing businesses, that is, single entrepreneurs in manufacturing, that’s another 354,100 manufacturers. That brings the total tally up to 600,255 manufacturing businesses in the U.S., again with only 3,960 having more than 500 employees.

Yes, let’s celebrate manufacturing on Manufacturing Day, and let’s recognize that by doing so, we largely are celebrating small businesses.

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


News and Media Releases