Monday, September 01, 2014

Happy Labor Day, and thank you for the beer!

This way to Beltway beer

According to the Beer Institute, not only does the American beer market directly and indirectly employ around 2,000,000 people, but one job in a brewery or wholesaler supports 45 jobs outside of it -- and not just because the people in those jobs go to the bar after work.

The recent study -- which took into account years of economic data and required drinking/looking at lots of beer -- also concluded that the brewing industry generates around $246 billion for the US economy and earns $79 billion for the folks working within it, and proposed a sort of "Beer Ripple Effect", where a single brewery job can create positions in agriculture, distribution, retail, and lots of other industries.
Thrillist, 27 August 2014.

The beery contributions of the state of California lead the nation: 241,640 jobs, $11.1 billion in wages, and $34.2 billion in total economic input.

Virginia is 15th, where beer produces 51,830 jobs, $2.2 billion in wages, and $7.3 billion in economic contribution. Maryland is at the 21st position, with 34,670 jobs, $1.2 billion in wages, and $3.1 billion in economic contribution. The city of Washington, D.C. is 48th — 3,590 jobs, $106 million in wages, and $296.9 million in total economic contribution —but it beats out three actual states, including Wyoming, which finishes last. 1

Bob Kittrell at Sisson's (1997)

Beer might be a commodity, but labor is not. It's a right, enshrined by international law 2. And, it's the fruits of brewers' labors at breweries that are gifts to us all. So, thank you, brewers and brewery workers, and beer distributors and drivers, and beer store employees and publicans. Thank you all for your labors.

Today, Labor Day 3, may be a federal holiday, but chances are those brewers won't have the day off. Yeast never sleeps.

  • 1 Statistics compiled by The Beer Institute, in 2012.
  • Read the entire press release from the Beer Institute: here.
  • 2 "The right to work is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and may not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948 [and signed by the United States]." As part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights —itself part of the International Bill of Human Rights, ratified world-wide in 1976— the right to work is now protected by international law. As of 2014, the United States has signed, but not ratified, the Covenant.
  • 3 More on Labor Day and its history, and on beer's economic contribution: here.

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