Electric cooperatives have a broad financial impact on the United States, directly or indirectly supporting nearly 612,000 jobs each year and contributing hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy over a five-year period, according to a new analysis.
Between 2013 and 2017, co-ops employed an average of 67,800 people a year, hired about 106,000 contractors, and by extension helped provide jobs for about 170,300 people who supplied equipment and services, the report states. Another 273,000 jobs were supported through consumer spending by co-op employees, contractors and suppliers.
“This report quantifies what many rural American families and businesses know well – electric cooperatives are powerful engines of economic development in their local communities,” says NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.
The analysis also found that, from 2013 to 2017, co-ops contributed $440 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP), $881 billion to U.S. sales output and $200 billion to the nation’s labor income.