The Economic Benefits of the North American Rare Earths Industry

Posted by MSE Supplies on

Executive Summary

The rare earth industry is essential to the North American economy. The industry directly contributes to the North American economy with $795 million in shipments, employing nearly 1,050 workers with a payroll of $116 million. But the contributions of the rare earth industry go well beyond its direct economic footprint.

The rare earth industry fosters economic activity indirectly through supply-chain purchases and through the payrolls paid by the industry itself and its suppliers. This in turn leads to induced economic output as well. As a result, each job in the rare earth industry generates an additional 5.0 jobs elsewhere in the North American economy, for a total of over 6,300 jobs. These jobs provide over $420 million in wages and salaries. Indirect and induced effects result in $1.1 billion in economic output. Thus, including its direct impact, the industry generates a total of $1.9 billion in economic output in North America.

Moreover, the economic contributions of rare earth chemistry extend downstream as well. Rare earth products are an essential input in magnets and magnetic powders, catalysts, metallurgical additives, polishing powers, phosphors, glass additives, ceramics and other engineered rare earth materials as well as batteries, motors and generators, lasers, drives, sensors, and other components and systems used in a variety of industries producing intermediate goods. In turn these products are used health care, clean energy, automotive, lighting, communications, audio equipment, defense technologies, other electronics, advanced optics, oil refining, and a variety of other economic activity. The rare earth industry is supportive of $329.6 billion in economic output in “downstream” end-market products and technologies that employ 618,800 workers (with a combined payroll of $37.6 billion) in the United States and Canada.

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