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More than fourth of U.S. jobs are linked to ag and food sectors

Group of 23 food and agriculture organizations commissioned nationwide economic impact study.

More than one-fifth of the nation’s economy and more than one-fourth of all American jobs are linked, either directly or indirectly, to the food and agriculture sectors, according to a nationwide economic impact study commissioned by a group of 23 food and agriculture organizations.

Nationwide, here’s the findings:

  • Total jobs: 45,582,086
  • Total wages: $2.06 trillion
  • Total taxes: $913.13 billion
  • Exports: $154.4 billion
  • Total food and industry economic impact: $7.06 trillion

Here’s the findings from Iowa:

  • Total jobs: 878,514
  • Total wages: $43.7 billion
  • Total taxes: $16.68 billion
  • Exports: $5.66 billion
  • Total food and industry economic impact: $185.01 billion

Here’s the numbers from Illinois:

  • Total jobs: 1,905,468
  • Total wages: $94.11 billion
  • Total taxes: $42.97 billion
  • Exports: $7.41 billion
  • Total food and industry economic impact: $347.14 billion

Want to find data from your state? Go to and check out the interactive map.

“While more and more Americans are becoming interested in the food they eat, we must ensure they know the value of what farmers and ranchers do,” Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said. “Everyone can benefit from knowing of the great contributions of agriculture to our economy, to our rural communities, to our security, to our culture and yes, to our natural resources. We need resources like the Feeding the report to better tell this story.”

“A lot of people don’t understand the significant effects agriculture has on their lives. The more resources farmers and ranchers have at their disposal to help connect with folks in their community and talk more about the economic significance of farming and ranching, the more those much-needed conversations can take place,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the indirect and induced economic activity surrounding these industries, which captures upstream and downstream activity. For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries as an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these impacts have a multiplier effect on the already formidable direct impact of food and agriculture.


Sponsoring organizations include: American Bakers Association (ABA), American Beverage Association (ABA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), American Soybean Association (ASA), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Food Marketing Institute (FMI), North American Meat Institute (NAMI), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), National Chicken Council (NCC), National Confectioners Association (NCA), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), National Grocers Association (NGA), North American Millers Association (NAMA), National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), National Restaurant Association (NRA), SNAC International, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), The Sugar Association (TSA), United Fresh Produce Association (UFFVA)

Source: Corn Refiners Association, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset
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