In honor of the Fourth of July, Thomas is not only celebrating Independence Day, but also celebrating the independent American manufacturers that contribute so much to our country throughout the year.

And while there are many  of reasons to appreciate these small and mid-sized businesses, we wanted to highlight three in particular.

American Manufacturing

Job Creation

American manufacturing is in the midst of a resurgence. The unemployment rate within the manufacturing industry is at its lowest point in several decades, and reshoring and related foreign direct investments are up 2800% since 2010, continue to bring more jobs and opportunities back to American soil.

While that’s exciting news overall, the fact is that most of these manufacturing jobs are being created within small- and mid-sized independent manufacturers. Of the roughly 250,000 U.S. manufacturing firms, 98 percent are considered small (fewer than 500 employees) and 75 percent of them have fewer than 20 total employees.

Economic Impact

The positive impact of manufacturing extends beyond the job market. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the economy overall; the highest multiplier effect of any industry. In total, manufacturers contributed nearly $2.2 trillion to the U.S. economy.


In addition to driving economic development, manufacturing has a long history of driving innovation as well.

When you think about it, it’s really no surprise. To make an innovative idea come to life, you need the tools and materials to create them. Due to their size, independent manufacturers are able to supply these materials quickly and efficiently to the designers and inventors that need them. This yields more breakthrough innovations to the market and allows for more growth in the American economy.

In addition, thanks to advances in technology and the adoption of Industry 4.0, the manufacturing workforce is now more diverse and innovative than ever. There's more demand for people with new skills, and ample opportunities for personal and professional growth

You Can Depend On Us

Independent American manufacturers help put food on the table, drive the economy, and spark innovation. That's no small feat. Fortunately, being independent doesn't mean that they have to do it alone.

At Thomas, we have been partnering with independent manufacturers for more than 120 years, helping them connect with more buyers and grow their businesses. To learn more, get in touch with our team.

Written by
Christina O'Handley
Christina is a digital marketing professional and writer. Christina frequently writes about manufacturing, supply chain and technology on The Thomas Blog.