November 21, 2013
Mined materials are fundamental to the economic growth of the U.S. economy, contributing 15 percent — or more than $2 trillion — to America’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.
By creating high-paying jobs and providing the raw materials essential to manufacturing, minerals mining helps stimulate economic recovery.
U.S. minerals mining supports more than 1.2 million jobs. A job in U.S. metal ore mining is one of the highest paying in the private sector, with an average salary registering $85,504 a year and often climbing above $100,000 for experienced workers.
Prospects for those entering the field today are bright; not only have technological and advanced practices helped to make mining continually safer for workers, but mining is one of a handful of sectors that will add jobs at a fairly consistent rate over the next 20 years, adding between 11,000 and 13,000 jobs per year.
It is estimated that every job in metal mining generates 2.5 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy, and every nonmetal mining job generates 1.8 additional jobs. With 416,000 Americans directly employed through minerals mining today and another 798,000 indirectly employed, a total of 1,214,000 jobs are supported through minerals mining.
In addition to jobs, raw materials provided by U.S. mines also boost the economy. In 2011, U.S. mines produced mineral raw materials worth $74 billion—a 12 percent increase from 2010. These domestic raw materials—plus recycled materials—were used to process mineral materials such as aluminum, copper and steel worth $633 billion. Industries including technology, manufacturing, construction and automotive transform these minerals into the infrastructure and products we use every day, and added more than $2 trillion to the U.S. economy—more than 15 percent of GDP in 2011.
By creating jobs and providing essential materials, mining is emerging as an important partner in stimulating economic recovery.