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November 14, 2016

How does the moving industry impact your local economy?

  • Commercial moving
As a whole, the moving industry in the U.S. is one of the most dynamic contributors to our state and federal economies.

Each year, approximately 14.19 percent of Americans - or just over 40 million people - end up moving, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That's a lot of individual moves, which are only possible if people have the support and capabilities of a professional moving service. As IBISWorld pointed out, there were 14,653 such companies as of April 2016, representing everything from mom-and-pop operations to large-scale businesses.

These groups don't just make moving a possibility; their collective work has a huge impact on local economies across the nation.

"Moving services all together account for $85.70 billion in output."

An economic powerhouse 
To measure that impact, the American Moving & Storage Association released its own report in August 2016. The AMSA report called the moving industry one of the most "dynamic" in the entire country. In all, moving services account for $85.70 billion in output, which is approximately 0.48 percent of America's total GDP.

The moving industry employs a total of 482,081 people, who were responsible for earning over $27 billion in benefits and wages. That would place the moving industry just outside the 50 biggest industries in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For context, comparably sized industries include the postal service (593,000 workers) and direct insurance (596,000).

The ins and outs of the moving economy
If you really want to understand the economics of the moving industry, it's important to look deeper into the AMSA report. Jobs and wages are only part of the equation and often account for the direct contributions. However, the moving industry has a much larger impact still. For instance, there are supplier firms that aid movers, not to mention government agencies tasked with regulation. It's also important to recognize the taxes that the moving industry pays. In 2016, for instance, taxes paid by employees and companies reached $6.29 billion at the federal level and another $3.13 billion for various state and local governments. These taxes help pay for many basic services and other public works projects.

Impact at the state level 
In addition to looking at the moving industry's impact in terms of the entire country, the AMSA has also compiled data for the economic impact of each of the 50 states. Though each state contributed to the greater economic impact of the moving industry, there are several that could be considered heavy hitters. These include:

  • New York - 10,824 direct jobs and an output of $1.8 billion.
  • Texas - 14,977 direct jobs and an output of $2.6 billion
  • California - 19,514 direct jobs and an output of $3.2 billion.
  • Florida - 15,864 jobs and an output of $2.4 billion.
  • North Carolina - 5,084 jobs and an output of $808.3 million.

Even states without a sizable impact still played a role. Maine, for instance, still had 549 jobs and a total output of $107.3 million. It just goes to show not only the scope of the moving industry's economic contributions, but also that it truly is a national phenomenon.