September 21, 2020
A recent Foreign Policy Analytics’ Special Report reveals the f...
It goes without question: America needs its minerals miners. Their efforts produce the materials that are the cornerstones of our economy, enabling the products, technologies and infrastructure that underpin our modern life. At more than 400 mining operations across the U.S., miners drive our economic engine.
Watch our video to find out more about how minerals make today’s modern technologies possible.
Last year alone, U.S. minerals mining operations produced raw materials valued at an estimated $82.2 billion. These materials were processed to produce aluminum, copper and steel—all of which are vital to the defense, health, tech and manufacturing industries – that were worth $766 billion. U.S. industries used these materials to contribute approximately $3.02 trillion to our economy, comprising roughly 14 percent of the country’s total GDP.
In addition to providing these essential resources, the mining industry makes significant contributions to the U.S., state and local economies through taxes and employment. In 2017, mining contributed an estimated $17 billion in federal, state and local taxes. This figure doesn’t include more than $42 billion from additional indirect and induced taxes.
Further, the minerals mining industry supports more than 1.1 million jobs, more than 400,000 of which are direct mining jobs. These jobs are key economic drivers for states with rich natural resources. Take into consideration that a metal-mining job earns an average of $94,000 a year, nearly 50 percent more than the average household income in the U.S. These high-paying jobs provide substantial economic support to the communities they call home.
The industry is not just investing in local communities, it’s also bringing technological knowhow. The industry’s commitment to innovation is creating opportunities for emerging jobs and new, cutting-edge skillsets. Geographic Information System specialists and autonomous vehicle and drone operators are just a few examples of the new job titles essential to today’s mining industry.
Despite the significant contributions made by the mining industry and its mining workforce, it could be doing even more with smart policy changes. Overly burdensome and duplicative policies are holding back new mining investment and the job creation that comes with it. While demand for minerals continues to grow, from every sector of our economy, the nation’s minerals import reliance is growing as well. Bringing commonsense reform to our mining polices that reduce regulatory barriers and encourage production can help reverse that trend while providing an economic boost to communities all over the country.
Learn More about the policies that are holding mining back and what we can do as a nation, to ensure that our economy grows stronger once again.