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Meat and Poultry Industry Contributes $832 Billion Annually to U.S. Economy According to New AMI Economic Impact Study

Friday, June 12, 2009

Washington, D.C. --  America’s meat and poultry industry, comprised of packers and processors, wholesalers and retailers, directly and indirectly contributes $832.4 billion dollars annually to the U.S. economy, roughly 5.8 percent of total GDP, according to a new Economic Impact Study unveiled today by the American Meat Institute.  The analysis of direct, supplier and induced impact also illustrates the industry provides nearly 6.2 million jobs, generating almost $200 billion in wages and benefits. 

“Companies and individuals in America that produce, process, distribute and sell meat and poultry products continue to be a vital part of the U.S. economy,” said J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO of AMI.  “During this uncertain economic climate when we are experiencing the highest unemployment rate in 25 years, every job is important.  Our industry can be proud that we provide millions of quality jobs in every state and every sector of the U.S. economy.” 

According to the study, the meat and poultry industry directly employs 1.8 million people, paying $45.5 billion in wages and benefits.  An estimated 524,000 people have jobs in production and packing, importing operations, sales, packaging and direct distribution of meat and poultry products.  Wholesaling directly employs an estimated 63,000 individuals in every state in the country, and 1,227,600 employees’ retail jobs depend on the sale of meat and poultry products to the public.

In addition to the direct economic impact, the study also captures the economic impact of suppliers to the industry and the total induced impact, or multiplier effect, on the economy of the spending by employees of the direct industry and supplier firms.

“While meat and poultry plants are not located in every American city, our products are sold throughout the country, thereby creating millions of jobs and economic impact nationwide,” noted Rod Brenneman, CEO of Seaboard Foods in Guymon, Oklahoma and chairman of AMI.  “These are real people, with real jobs working in industries as varied as banking, retail, accounting, government, metalworking, even printing, that all depend on the meat and poultry industry for their livelihood.” 

An important part of the analysis is the calculation of the contribution of the industry to the public finances of the community.  Not only does the meat and poultry industry create jobs, it also generates sizeable tax revenues in two forms.

First, the traditional direct taxes paid by the firms and their employees provide over $81.2 billion in revenues to the federal, state and local governments. In addition, the consumption of meat and poultry generates $2.4 billion in state sales taxes.

 “This is tens of billions of dollars that the meat and poultry industry and our employees contribute to national defense, medical research, education, transportation infrastructure, benefits for veterans and even the government regulation of our own industry,” Boyle added.

Boyle said he hopes that the interactive format and the ability to drill down to the state and congressional district level will be useful to media who cover the industry and to lawmakers and policymakers who seek to understand the potential impact of public policy initiatives in their states and districts.

The Economic Impact Study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates based in New York City and uses data from 2009.  The complete study, including state-by-state and congressional district breakdowns and a methodology report, can be found at http://www.meatfuelsamerica.com/



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