As was the case in 2020, there is some real irony as we celebrate this Labor Day, as businesses both small and large continue to reel from the effects of the Covid pandemic. It’s not that there aren’t jobs to be had; it’s just that nobody seems to want the jobs that are being offered. In fact, a disappointing just-released August 2021 jobs report indicated only 235,000 new jobs added, a far cry from the anticipated 720,000 by economists.
But one thing is certain: No one can attribute any slowdown in the labor market to the firearm industry. For recent proof of this, we need look no further than the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Firearm and Ammunition 2021 Economic Impact Report, which details the significant economic impact the firearm and ammunition industry has on the U.S. economy, both nationally and at the state level. According to the most recently available data (2020), the economic growth that America’s firearm and ammunition industry has experienced in recent years “has been nothing short of remarkable and has been driven by an unprecedented number of Americans choosing to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. This includes an estimated 8.4 million new gun owners in 2020.”
Since 2008, during the middle of the recession, the firearm industry has grown and created more than 176,000 new, well-paying jobs. By the way, if you or someone you know is in the market for a job or is looking to change careers, a cursory glance at the firearm job posting boards show numerous jobs are being added daily at nearly all of the main firearm manufacturers—including SIG Sauer, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Vista (which owns dozens of outdoor brands)—as well as many smaller brands. The jobs vary widely from design engineer and CNC specialists, to analysts and marketing specialists.
Here are the highlights of the report:
- Companies in the United States that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment employ as many as 153,414 people and generate an additional 188,916 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.
- Of these 153K-plus jobs, Texas leads the way in numbers of employees at 12,037; California is next with 10,010, followed by Florida; Illinois; Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri and Georgia.
- Jobs in this industry pay an average of $56,400 in wages and benefits
- The industry and its employees pay more than $6.98 billion in taxes including property, income, and sales based levies.
- Total federal and state taxes generated by the firearm industry were nearly $7 billion, while excise taxes reach more than $665 million.
- Jobs in this industry have grown by 106 percent since 2008; wages have increased 201 percent, all equaling a 232 percent growth.
- To see the specific data by state, read the full report here.