You are here

462,000 Jobs to Be Added to the Plastics Industry

May 2015

According to the report by economists at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the inexpensive and abundant supply of shale gas, a natural gas formed from fine-grained sedimentary rocks, will cause a rapid growth in the U.S. plastics industry over the next decade.

ACC has tracked more than $130 billion of planned investments in chemical manufacturing capacity expansions and new-builds in the industry since 2010. The expansive investments are expected to lead to 462,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next decade in the industry, its supply chain, and the broader economy as plastics productions grow.

“This substantial investment in new capacity is creating more high-paying jobs in the United States in this high-tech industry,” said Steve Russell, ACC's vice president of Plastics. “Plastics materials makers pay workers on average nearly $85,000 [annually], which is more than 73% higher than the average wage for workers across U.S. industries. Companies are reshoring jobs to the United States as new manufacturing is increasingly being located here at home.”

The ACC estimates that combined output from the new investments in resin, compounding and ancillary chemistries and products could reach more than $46 billion over the next decade. Increased plastics production, the report said, could also increase net plastic exports from $6.5 billion to $21.5 billion from 2014-2030.