Billions of dollars of planned investments for chemical manufacturing capacity expansions and new-builds in the industry are expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The ACC said shale gas development has changed the competitive landscape for the U.S. plastics industry. The country's producers use natural gas-based feedstocks, unlike their European and Asian competitors that use oil-based feedstocks.
As a result of the spread between the price of oil and natural gas, the ACC has been tracking more than $130bn of planned investments in chemical manufacturing capacity that have been announced since 2010.
"This substantial investment in new capacity is creating more high-paying jobs in the United States in this high-tech industry," said Steve Russell, ACC's vice president of plastics. "Plastics materials makers pay workers on average nearly $85,000 [annually], which is more than 73 percent higher than the average wage for workers across U.S. industries. Companies are reshoring jobs to the United States as new manufacturing is increasingly being located here at home."
The ACC's study found that nearly 462,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created over the next decade in the industry, its supply chain and the broader economy as plastics production grows.
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