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Commission Study Shows Ecomomic Importance of U.S. Aerospace and Aviation Industry at the National, State, and Local Levels

Press Release From: Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

WASHINGTON- According to a report released today the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, the U.S. civil and commercial aerospace and aviation industry employed more than two million workers in 2001, with an annual average wage of $47,700. The industry has a major economic and employment impact in all 50 states and is a substantial force in civil, military, and space manufacturing and operations in nearly half of the nation's states.

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The statistics are revealed in an extensive national and state-by-state analysis of the aerospace and aviation industry released here today by the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry, a 12-member panel formed in 2001 by President George W. Bush and the U.S, Congress.

The industry statistical study - U.S. Aerospace and Aviation Industry: A State-by-State Analysis - examines the industry by direct employment, wages, establishments, and payroll. The 112-page report provides government officials, industry leaders, academicians, and others with objective, comparative economic data about the industry in today's national and global economy.

In releasing the report, Commission Chairman Robert S. Walker noted that "A strong aerospace industry is essential to enable the United States to defend itself, compete in the global marketplace, maintain a highly skilled workforce, and provide all Americans with the ability to travel safely and securely anywhere in the world." Walker further explained, "The data will assist policymakers and the public in understanding the economic stakes at hand as the commercial aerospace industry faces the challenges of market forces, homeland security, and foreign competition.

The state-by-state report shows that the air transportation segment of the aerospace and aviation industry was the leading employer with more than 1.3 million jobs in 2001. Air transportation workers earned an average of $40,600 per year. The leading centers of aviation employment were California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and New York.

The study also shows that aircraft and parts manufacturing employed some 462,200 workers, with an average annual salary of $57,200. The leading centers of aircraft and parts manufacturing by state in 2001 were Washington, California, Kansas, Texas, and Connecticut.

Other data breakouts by sector include Guided Missile Manufacturing, Satellite Communications, Space Research and Technology, and Search and Detection Manufacturing.

"The significance of our analysis," Walker explained, "lies in the illustration of the importance of the aerospace and aviation industry to the economic health of every state economy. California, Texas and Washington lead by most aerospace and aviation metrics. At the same time, however, the report demonstrates that Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Kansas are home to strong industry clusters - a fact some may find surprising."

The statistical data in this study also include pertinent aerospace and aviation workforce and economic impact data for leading U.S. metropolitan areas, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Phoenix, Boston, Atlanta, New York, Wichita, and Chicago.

Statistics used in the report are based on the most recently available U.S. government data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are limited by the Standard Industrial Classification system.

The study does not measure the additional jobs generated by aerospace and aviation in states and localities. For example, workers in food service, security, and fire service jobs at airports or NASA centers are not included. While the analysis includes military suppliers, it does not include military workers at facilities such as U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aviation bases.

"Those jobs, however, are a vital part of our economy and our defense structure and are dependent on the existence of the U.S. aerospace industry," Walker remarked.

While the figures provided by the government are the latest official data, they don't reflect the significant downturn of the industry since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. Since then, the industry has experienced a serious decline.

The statistical data was collected and compiled by Content First, a Washington, D.C-based. research and information services firm.

The Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry is a congressionally mandated commission, as established in Section 1092 of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law 106-398. The Commission was formed to study the future of the United States aerospace industry in the global economy, particularly in relationship to United States national security; and to assess the future importance of the domestic aerospace industry for the economic and national security of the United States. The Commission will issue its final report on November 18, 2002.

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