Deloitte’s "US Aerospace & Defense Labor Market Study" found after several years of job losses, sector employment is expected to grow in 2016 by more than 39,000 jobs in the US.1 This reverses a five-year trend that resulted in employment decreases of 9.4 percent, of which about 185,000 jobs were lost in the defense subsector. However, despite the decline in employment numbers, the US aerospace and defense sector experienced increased wages and taxes paid since 2010.2
"The US aerospace and defense sector continues to be one of the top employers in the US economy, even with the five-year decrease in total employment," said Tom Captain, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and aerospace and defense leader. "This sector’s jobs are also paying almost twice the national average, leading to greater economic value creation. A return to growth will be healthy for innovation, product development and game-changing technology creation – a cornerstone of this industry."
According to the study, the aerospace and defense sector directly employed 1.2 million workers in 2014, and another 3.2 million indirectly.3 The defense subsector contributed heavily to the overall decline since 2010, with an 18 percent decrease in jobs. The smaller commercial aerospace subsector helped offset these losses with a 17 percent increase in jobs in the same period.
Despite a decrease in employment overall, aerospace and defense sector companies paid $7.7 billion in corporate federal income taxes and $4.1 billion in state and local income taxes in 2014, a $1.5 billion growth in total corporate taxes paid since 2010. Additionally, individual income taxes paid totaled $23.9 billion in 2014, a 9.9 percent increase since 2010.5
While aerospace and defense sector employees are found in every state, seven states accounted for half of all aerospace and defense sector employees in the US. The top states, in descending order, are: California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas.6 This does not include those employed in the public sector.