New study shows 29% of US jobs are related to food and agriculture

New study shows 29% of US jobs are related to food and agriculture

Today, 30 food and agriculture groups released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report, a historic farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how these sectors influence local and broader economies across the United States. Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s study highlights how industries have remained resilient in providing Americans with jobs, economic opportunity and safe food.

The report’s findings show that 7% of the national economy and 29% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Amid global supply chain and inflation crises, these sectors also exported $182.91 billion worth of goods, helping the United States maintain its position as a top player in agriculture. world. In 2021, these sectors contributed a total of $3.01 trillion to the US economy.

In addition to providing nationwide impact information, the report breaks down sector impact by state and congressional districts. Key findings include:

  • Total number of jobs: 43,464,211
  • Total salaries: $2.30 billion
  • Total taxes: $718.15 billion
  • Exports: $182.91 billion
  • Total economic impact on food and industry: $7.43 trillion

To measure the total economic impact of the sectors, the analysis also includes the direct and indirect economic activity surrounding these industries, capturing both upstream and downstream activity. For example, when a farm equipment retailer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new wages an indirect impact. Similarly, when a retail associate spends his salary, an induced economic impact occurs. Together, these factors have a multiplier effect on the already considerable direct impact of food and agriculture.

“American agriculture is really the foundation of our lives and our economy,” said American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Roger Cryan. “This study reveals the numbers, and perhaps part of the spirit, of this indispensable sector.”

“Feeding the Economy, in concert with National Agriculture Day, celebrates the collective impact that everyone who grows, raises, harvests and processes America’s agricultural products has on our economy. As they strive to promote their states’ agricultural products for export around the world, state commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture recognize that a thriving American agricultural industry not only feeds our economy, but also feeds the world,” said Ted McKinney, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

“Restaurants and the farming community are inextricably linked. Together, we support the communities we call home with fresh ingredients and nutritious meals. American farmers and ranchers provide safe and plentiful food options to more than one million restaurants, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership as the restaurant and catering industry continues its recovery,” said Martin Irby, interim president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

This year’s report, along with additional quotes from sponsoring organizations, can be viewed at

Sponsoring organizations include: American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, BIO, Corn Refiners Association, CropLife America, IMF – The Food Industry Association, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, International Dairy Foods Association, International Fresh Produce Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), National Corn Growers Association, National Grain and Feed Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Restaurant Association, NCA – The National Confectioners Association, North American Meat Institute, Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA), SNAC International, The Fertilizer Institute, The Sugar Associa tion Inc., we Dairy Export Council and US Grains Council.


mike tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642
[email protected]

Bailey Corvin
Media Relations Specialist
(202) 406-3643
[email protected]

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