Total U.S. jobs created by agricultural exports rises in 2011

A chart showing the number of civilian jobs generated by U.S. agricultural trade, yeats 1993 to 2011.

Total employment supporting U.S. agricultural exports increased from 907,000 in 2010 to 923,000 in 2011, driven by the surge in the volume of U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. agricultural exports generate employment, income, and purchasing power in both the farm and nonfarm sectors. ERS estimates that each dollar of agricultural exports stimulated another $1.29 in business activity in 2011. The $136 billion of agricultural exports in 2011 produced an additional $176 billion in economic activity for a total economic output of $312 billion. Every $1 billion of U.S. agricultural exports in 2011 required 6,800 American jobs throughout the economy. Calendar year 2011 agricultural exports required 923,000 full-time civilian jobs, including 637,000 jobs in the nonfarm sector. In 2011, 6,800 workers were required to deliver a billion dollars’ worth of agricultural exports to their final consumer, a decline from the 7,800 per billion required in 2010. Labor requirements are largely determined by the volume (quantity) of exports, with larger shipments of bulk vs processed commodities in 2011 translating into fewer total jobs per unit of exports. This chart appears on the Agricultural Trade Multiplier data pages on the ERS website.

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