Meat and poultry industry contributes 5.8% to U.S.'GDP

by Editor
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

America’s meat and poultry industry, comprised of packers and processors, wholesalers and retailers, directly and indirectly contributes $832.4 billion annually to the U.S. economy, roughly 5.8% of total GDP, according to a new Economic Impact Study unveiled by AMI.

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 produced, processed, distributed and sold meat and poultry products continued to be a vital part of the U.S. economy, said J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO of AMI.

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.

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.

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