America's Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers Create 1,449,850 Jobs, $184.7 Billion in Economic Impact

New study quantifies economic importance of beverage alcohol retailers and hospitality industry

October 9, 2012
American Beverage Licensees (ABL) has released a new study on the overwhelmingly positive economic impact that America's beer, wine and spirits retailers have on jobs, taxes and the overall economy.  2012 Economic Impact Study of America's Beer, Wine and Spirits Retailers underscores the significant role that retail beverage licensees have on the national, state and local economies by providing nearly 1.45 million direct jobs.  The total economic impact of America's beer, wine and spirits retail industry is more than $184 billion.

"When we look at the economic impact that beverage alcohol retailers have on their communities, and the well-paying jobs they provide, it's evident that America's bars, taverns and package liquor stores are doing their part to contribute to the economy," said John Bodnovich, ABL Executive Director.  "Independent and locally-owned and operated small businesses are part of the economic backbone of cities and towns across the country."

In addition to their economic impact, jobs created, and taxes paid, many beverage retailers sponsor numerous civic programs and charitable organizations.  These local businesspeople take seriously their roles as employers and the quality of life in the communities where they live and operate.   

"ABL members and their communities depend on a well-regulated alcohol marketplace and policies that support local small business and the responsible consumption of beverage alcohol," continued Bodnovich.  "What these jobs figures demonstrate is that entrepreneurs and family business owners can realize their dreams while continuing to serve their communities."   

Key Findings of the 2012 Economic Impact Study of America's Beer, Wine and Spirits Retailers:
Establishments that sell alcohol in the United States employ as many as 1,449,850 people across the U.S. and generate an additional 761,670 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.
These well-paying jobs average $32,170 in wages and benefits.
In 2011 the industry was responsible for as much as$184.71 billion in total economic activity throughout the country. Nationally, the industry and its employees pay over $16.30 billion in federal taxes, and $14.71 billion in state and local taxes.

"We know that beverage licensees are an integral part of the three-tier system of alcohol regulation that delivers to consumers their favorite brands and tens of thousands of beverage choices," said Bodnovich.  "We are now pleased to be able to quantify just how significant their economic impact is through this valuable analysis."

The study also considers the impact of policy changes - in particular those concerning in-vehicle alcohol detection technology and blood alcohol content laws - on beverage retail jobs, businesses and economic output.  

The economic impact study's data, which was prepared by John Dunham & Associates, is hosted on an interactive section of the ABL website that can be sorted nationally, by state and by congressional district.