Foundries' Economic Impact

Modern Casting Staff Report

Nearly 80% of U.S. foundries are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, yet the industry impacts the economy in a big way. According to a study commissioned by AFS, the U.S. metalcasting industry has a total national economic benefit of $110.52 billion, providing almost 500,000 jobs. Today, the coronavirus has exposed the need for local manufacturers, and domestic foundries have stepped up to show how quickly and effectively they can respond to market demands.  

The AFS Foundry Industry 2020 Economic Impact Analysis is the most comprehensive analysis undertaken by AFS in many years. It documents the U.S. metalcasting industry’s economic footprint by state, congressional district, and nationally. It also incorporates direct, supplier and induced impacts. The landmark project was funded through voluntary contributions of AFS members, chapters and state associations

The research in the report was conducted by John Dunham & Associates and consists of data, models, calculations, and outputs that were joined together into an interactive system that reflects the links between various parts of the metalcasting industry in January 2020. The final report comes in the form of a website that allows users to examine the various components and produce detailed documents depending on state and congressional district chosen. 

“Much has changed since we contemplated this project last year. The pandemic has affected every foundry, supplier, and parts purchaser, as it has our entire society. We are proud of the role that U.S. foundries and their employees are playing in addressing the pandemic and in taking early steps back toward a stronger economy,” said Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS. “For as much that has changed, even more remains constant. Castings will remain essential to our way of life and to our national defense. Foundries will continue to be an indispensable part of the U.S. economy. This landmark study will help us all tell the story of the foundry industry with increased precision.”

The direct metalcasting industry impact is $44.6 billion, including over $11 billion in wages, and 162,000 jobs.  The report also revealed the U.S. metalcasting industry:

  • Employs over 490,000 workers and generates $110.52 billion in economic output when considering the direct, indirect (supplier) and induced impacts.
  • These workers earned $32.16 billion in wages and benefits.
  • Generated $10.59 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.
  • Invests millions and millions of dollars annually in new equipment, upgrading their facilities and training their employees.
  • Offers excellent career opportunities such as: machine operator, lab technician, electrician, metallurgist, crane operator, maintenance mechanic, welder, sales manager and more.

The AFS Foundry Industry 2020 Economic Impact Analysis is accessible at  

Click here to view this in the June 2020 digital edition.