Top Manufacturing Sectors in the U.S.

Goals

To provide a list of the current top 10 manufacturing sectors in the U.S. (within the last 6 months), based on the developments occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early Findings

Current Top Manufacturing Sectors in the U.S. Based on Gross Output

  • Based on data available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the current top 10 manufacturing sub-sectors by gross output in quarter 3 of 2020 are:
  • In comparison to the same period in 2019, these sectors, among the top 10, have increased their gross output: chemical products; motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts; and computer and electronics products.
  • The other subsectors by quarter 3, 2020 gross output are:
    • Miscellaneous manufacturing, with a gross output of $202.7 billion.
    •  Paper products, with a gross output of $190.7 billion.
    •  Nonmetallic mineral products, with a gross output of $140.9 billion.
    •  Electrical equipment, appliances, and components, with a gross output of $130.9 billion.
    •  Wood products, with a gross output of $127.0 billion.
    •  Printing and related support activities, with a gross output of $87.8 billion.
    •  Furniture and related products, with a gross output of $81.0 billion.
    •  Textile mills and textile product mills, with a gross output of $45.5 billion.
    •  Apparel and leather and allied products, with a gross output of $19.8 billion.

Generals Insights on the Effects of COVID-19 on the U.S. Manufacturing Industry

  • Some of the manufacturing sub-industries that have experienced heavy downturns include: "light vehicle production which was down nearly 99% in April and remained down nearly 38.6% during the first half of 2020" as compared to the same period in 2019.
  • On the other hand, some manufacturing sectors experienced as much as 30% of demand surges during the pandemic including specialty chemical producers mainly in the manufacture of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and other cleaning products; and manufacturers of consumer technology products.

Summary of Findings

  • In this preliminary hour of research, we found information from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that provides ample details on the quarterly performance of the U.S. manufacturing industry and its sub-sectors. From this data, we primarily presented the list of the current top 10 manufacturing sectors by gross output as reported in quarter 3, 2020. We also gave the gross output of these sectors in the same period in 2019, to show the change in their output during the COVID-19 period.
  • We also provided the other sectors in the industry that fell below the top 10.

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