To say the American plastics jobs market is growing is a bit of an understatement. The perfect storm to jolt the plastic injection molding industry has been brewing for a quite a while. The removal of industry regulations combined with America’s economic bounce back and industry innovations has resulted in a considerable addition to plastic industry jobs. In fact, the plastic industry is outpacing manufacturing as a whole in terms of job growth.
The Rise of Plastic
The plastics industry is ranked third across the entirety of the American manufacturing sector. All in all, this industry is responsible for nearly $420 billion in shipments. According to the Plastics Industry Association’s Size and Impact Report, over 950,000 plastic jobs existed in 2015. This is a 1.4% increase in a year-over-year context. Include suppliers to the United States’ plastics industry and the economics of aggregate shipments jump to a whopping $571.5 million while the job figure balloons all the way to 1.75 million. This represents a 3% increase from the year prior.
The report also makes it clear that the plastics industry is especially strong in relation to the United States’ manufacturing sector. The plastics industry performed better than all of the country’s manufacturing sector across the 35-year span from 1980 to 2015. This growth accounts for real value added, real shipments, productivity growth, and employment.
Plastics Jobs are on the Upswing
The plastics industry added jobs at a yearly rate of 0.3% in the 35-year period outlined above. The manufacturing sector lost jobs at a yearly rate of negative 1.2% in the same period. Part of the increase in plastic jobs can be attributed to the fact that America’s plastics industry serves the needs and demands of nations across the world. American plastics producers are trailblazers when it comes to innovation. Their advancements make the world a more sustainable and formidable place.
Specifics of Plastic Jobs Growth
The Size and Impact Report referenced above also provided state-specific data. The figures show Texas is responsible for more plastic jobs than any other state. An incredible 76,700 plastics employees work in the Lone Star State. The plastics industry is especially important to the economic health of Indiana, where plastic jobs represent nearly 17 of every 1,000 non-farm jobs in the state. Michigan is right behind Indiana with slightly more than 16 of every 1,000 non-farm jobs being in the plastics industry.
The Push for Sustainability is a Boon for Plastic Jobs
Sustainability is the buzzword of the moment. Plenty of consumers and businesses are willing to pay more for items and services made or provided in a sustainable manner. Advancements in thermoplastics and bio-renewable plastics are known as the “Green Boom”. These developments have allowed the plastics industry to expand into new territory.
The demand for plastic products that can be recycled and renewed continues to rise as the months and years pass. People are also on the prowl for plastic items that can be disposed of in a safe manner. Such advancements require the addition of new engineers, production specialists, and laborers across the plastics industry.
Innovation is Fueling Plastics Jobs Growth
There is no doubt that plastic injection molding is shaping the American manufacturing scene. Over 885,000 people are employed in the plastics industry alone in the United States. The country has over 16,200 plastics facilities. The industry has a presence in every single state. Industry analysts expect plastic jobs to continue growing across posterity. This growth is partially attributed to American innovation.
Plastic is an incredibly versatile material that can be altered in seemingly endless ways. Flame retardant plastics are proving quite useful in an array of applications. Plastic injection molding companies are creating all sorts of new durable products as time progresses. Add in the fact that plastics are more affordable than metal and it is easy to see why this material is driving innovation and spurring job growth.
3D Printing’s Role in Boosting Plastics Jobs
3D printing has the potential to change the world. It is certainly altering the manner in which manufacturing is conducted. This style of printing creates items with thin plastic layers, allowing for just about any object to be “printed”. Even more plastic jobs will be added as 3D printing continues to expand and improve.
The Economy’s Continued Rebound Certainly Plays a Part in Plastics Job Growth
The United States’ economic revival has been spearheaded by manufacturing. As noted above, plastics are integral to this economic sector. The bottom line is that Americans have gotten back to building, be it in the form of creating lightweight, fuel efficient automobiles or constructing green buildings. Building means the addition of jobs, plenty of which are plastic jobs. These jobs aren’t going anywhere, especially as American engineers continue to innovate in bold new ways.
GreenLeaf Industries is an ISO 9001 registered manufacturer that consistently adheres to all its standards to provide our clients with consistent, reliable, quality automotive and industrial plastic parts.
We are an American injection molding company, unafraid to compete in the world market and determined to succeed. Established in 1999, we take pride in our high-quality craftsmanship and superior customer service. Contact us to discuss whether your injection molding project may be a candidate for reshoring.
310 Bussell Ferry Road
Lenoir City, TN 37771