As Americans celebrated Labor Day this past weekend, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) was busy recognizing the contributions of the men and women of the beer distribution industry whose work positively impacts the nation’s economy.
“Labor Day is a perfect time to recognize the hard work that America’s beer distribution employees do day in and day out to make this the best beer market in the world for everyone — brewers, importers, distributors, retailers and the consumer,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser. “Thanks to distributor employees who drive the beer trucks in local communities, fill the beer coolers at corner stores and deliver new tap handles to neighborhood pubs, consumers can choose from an unparalleled variety of beer – from familiar domestic brands to intriguing imports and exciting new craft beers. That’s something we can all celebrate!”
According to a 2013 economic impact report — America’s Beer Distributors: Fueling Jobs, Generating Economic Growth & Delivering Value to Local Communities — more than 3,300 independent beer distribution companies directly employ more than 130,000 hardworking men and women in communities across the country, collectively earning $10.2 billion per year in pay and benefits.
The report, produced by Bill Latham and Ken Lewis of the Center for Applied Business & Economic Research at the University of Delaware, provides the first-ever comprehensive report on beer distribution companies’ total impact on national and state economies. In addition to the impact of distributor operations, the report also accounts for the amount of resources contributed by beer distributors in supporting community events and local economic development, contributing to charitable causes and promoting responsible alcohol use.
“The beer distribution sector is a hidden gem that has been tremendously undervalued in previous economic reports,” Latham said. “Fueling more than 345,000 direct and indirect jobs, beer distributors add $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and offer far reaching benefits to brewers, retailers, consumers and government agencies at all levels.”
Key findings of the economic impact study include:
- The beer distribution industry directly employs more than 130,000 people in the United States.
- When both distributor capital investment and community involvement are considered, the total number of impact jobs exceeds 345,000.
- Beer distributors add $54 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product.
- Beer distributor activities contribute nearly $10.3 billion to the federal, state and local tax bases. This does not include the nearly $11 billion in federal, state and local alcohol excise and consumption taxes.
- The beer distribution industry contributes more than $22 billion in transportation efficiencies for the beer industry each year.
- Beer distributor contributions to local community activities generate $175 million annually.