Have a Beer! It's Good for the Economy

beer Who knew how much brew could do for me and you? A new economic impact study shows America's beer industry, made up of brewers, beer importers, beer distributors, brewer suppliers and retailers, generates more than 1.8 million American jobs -- which account for $71.2 billion in wages and benefits. The industry also contributed $44.7 billion dollars in the form of business, personal and consumption taxes in 2010.

Not only that, but the American beer industry contributes $223.8 billion each year to the U.S. economy, according to a study commissioned by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).

"Brewers across the country, large and small, remain an integral part of their communities. Not only do they promote alcohol responsibility programs for local retailers, schools and families, this study shows they also create sustainable jobs and important tax revenues that contribute to our nation's economy," said Dave Peacock, president of Anheuser-Busch and chairman of the Beer Institute. "America's brewing industry continues to play a significant role in supporting the economy in each and every state."

According to their study, the beer industry directly employs more than 1 million people, paying $32.5 billion in wages. Beer sales help support roughly 900,000 retail jobs, including those at supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, stadiums, and other outlets. Supplier and induced impacts generate nearly $135.7 billion in economic activity in all industries specifically agriculture and manufacturing. And then there's the money the individual brewers spend on advertising campaigns and sponsorship, which adds up to billions more.

The beer industry wants those of you concerned with their contribution to alcohol abuse and drunk driving to know that brewers, importers, and independent beer distributors, licensed at both the state and federal levels, dedicate significant resources to develop public safety, education and prevention campaigns and to promote federal and local programs that help reduce underage drinking and drunk driving. These efforts, along with those of parents, law enforcement, federal and state alcohol beverage regulators, educators, and other community groups, have helped contribute to declines in underage drinking and drunk driving for nearly three decades, according to government data.

So even if you're a committed abstainer and you'd like to see the entire industry -- as well as its in-your-face advertising -- disappear altogether, it might be comforting to know that at least the beer industry is having a positive effect on the U.S. economy.

The rest of you can raise a glass and feel good that you're contributing to U.S. employment. Most domestic beers are among the few products made entirely in America.

Next:Like Beer? Consider Working at a Craft Brewery

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