Ethanol Drives the Rural Economy

Ethanol Renewing the Heartland

Open Plain with Crops 

Ethanol biorefineries offer skilled jobs and good wages in rural communities where attractive employment opportunities are often hard to find.  The industry serves as an essential component of the agriculture sector, generating tens of billions of dollars in economic activity.


In 2020, more than 62,000 U.S. jobs were directly associated with the ethanol industry, which supported an additional 242,600 indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the economy. The industry created $18.6 billion in household income and contributed $34.7 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product. Moreover, the ethanol industry spent $21.4 billion on raw materials, inputs, and other goods and services.


The renewable fuels workforce employs a higher percentage of female, older and unionized workers than the petroleum industry, and one of out five ethanol workers are veterans of the U.S. military.


Ethanol Industry Workforce Demographics (Chart)

Gross Value of U.S. Ethanol Industry Output (Bar Graph)

Ethanol's Value-Added Proposition (Infographic)

Source: Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States in 2020