Plumbing Manufacturing: Key Driver of Jobs, Innovation and Growth

With outposts in 41 states, plumbing fixture and fittings manufacturers contribute $85.5 billion dollars to the American economy – about four-tenths of 1% of America’s gross domestic product, according to a 2018 PMI economic study of the industry.

Plumbing fixture and fittings manufacturers generate more than $34 billion dollars in direct annual output, providing more than 193,000 jobs and more than $10 billion dollars in wages. Including the jobs created by PMI member products with wholesalers, retailers, and industry suppliers, these manufacturers support an additional 271,300 jobs with a payroll of $15.5 billion dollars across the supply value chain.

American plumbing fixture and fittings manufacturers have helped save significant amounts of water and energy with the creation of over 27,000 EPA-certified WaterSense products, including more than 15,000 faucets, 6,500 showerheads, and 3,100 toilets. Combined, these fixtures and fittings saved 631 billion gallons of water in 2017 and more than 2.7 trillion gallons since 2006. WaterSense products have reduced the energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water by 367 billion kilowatt hours – enough energy to supply a year’s worth of power to almost 25% of all U.S. homes.

The plumbing manufacturing industry is a part of one of the most significant and productive sectors fueling the U.S. economy – the manufacturing industry. Over the past several years, manufacturers contributed trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy. The National Association of Manufacturers reported that for every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy, making manufacturing the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.

Career opportunities abound

For the plumbing manufacturing industry, a skilled workforce is fundamental to continued growth and innovation. PMI members report a talent shortage in the industry – from production level, maintenance and technician positions, to machinists, engineers and industrial designers. To compete globally, plumbing manufacturers require high-quality workers, as well as a strong technical workforce.

With an estimated 3.5 million jobs needed to be filled by 2025 with the overall manufacturing industry sector, there will be plenty of opportunities for young people, women and individuals from diverse backgrounds to start a career in the field.

PMI favors better coordination among educators, federal and state governments, and the private sector to recruit secondary and post-secondary school graduates with the necessary job training to fill vacant manufacturing positions.

PMI also supports legislation and grant funding to increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities and promote the use of industry-recognized credentials and other recognized post-secondary credentials.

Many PMI member companies have developed co-op and intern programs to train and place college students in permanent roles. They also have opened their doors to students and others to draw attention to the roles manufacturers play in their communities and to underscore the economic and social significance of manufacturing.