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Plastics industry adds jobs, outpaces manufacturing as a whole

Article-Plastics industry adds jobs, outpaces manufacturing as a whole

Cool Design
The U.S. plastics industry remains the third-largest manufacturing sector overall, accounting for $418.4 billion in shipments and 954,000 workers in 2015.

The Size & Impact Report from the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS; Washington, DC) showed that the U.S. plastics industry is ready to lead a revolution in American manufacturing. Using the most recently available data, the report found that the U.S. plastics industry accounted for $418.4 billion in shipments in 2015 and 954,000 jobs, a 1.4% increase over 2014. When suppliers to the plastics industry are included, the total shipments figure balloons to $571.5 billion, and the jobs figure soars to 1.75 million, a nearly 3% increase.

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The report also showed the plastics industry’s continued 35-year track record of strength when compared with the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole. From 1980 to 2015, the U.S. plastics industry has outpaced all U.S. manufacturing in terms of growth in real shipments, real value added, productivity growth and, most impressively, employment, adding jobs at an annualized rate of 0.3% during that time period, while manufacturing as a whole lost jobs at an annualized rate of 1.2%.

“On the heels of the arrival of a new Congress and, soon, a new Administration, the Size & Impact Report shows why the plastics industry will be such an important part of the effort to support job growth in manufacturing,” said PLASTICS President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “The U.S. plastics industry continues to meet the needs of the global market, and then some; every day seems to bring news of an innovative application for plastic materials that make the world a stronger, more sustainable place," said Carteaux.

Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) President and CEO Bill Carteaux invites plastics professionals to an industry talk and introduction to the association’s evolution at PLASTEC West on Feb. 8. The reception is free, but registration is required on the PLASTICS website. The event comes to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 7 to 9, 2017. For more information and to register to attend, go to the PLASTEC West website.

“The plastics industry is ready to work together with Congress, the Administration and its partners to lead American manufacturing into a new golden era,” Carteaux added.

The latest Size & Impact Report, the first released under the organization’s new brand, Plastics Industry Association, comes on the heels of the Global Business Trends Report and differs in that it also includes state-level data and insights. State highlights include Texas, home to the largest number of plastics employees, with 76,700, but the plastics industry is most important to Indiana, where jobs in plastics account for 16.5 of 1,000 non-farm jobs. Michigan is a close second, with 16.1 of every 1,000 non-farm jobs being in plastics.

For a copy of the Size & Impact Report, go to

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