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Alabama

Alabama Trade Facts

  • In 2016, Alabama exported a record $20.4 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world, which supported an estimated 97 thousand jobs.

Exports from Alabama and Jobs

  • Alabama was the 22nd largest state exporter of goods in 2016.

  • In 2016, Alabama goods exports were $20.4 billion, an increase of 47 percent ($6.5 billion) from its export level in 2006.

  • Goods exports accounted for 9.5 percent of Alabama GDP in 2015 (latest year available).

  • An estimated 97 thousand jobs were supported by Alabama goods exports in 2015 (latest year available). Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Made-in-America Manufacturing Exports from Alabama and Jobs

  • In 2015, Alabama exported $19.3 billion of manufactured products.

  • Alabama exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 89 thousand jobs in 2015.

  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is transportation equipment, which accounted for $10.7 billion of Alabama's total goods exports in 2016.

  • Other top manufacturing exports are chemicals ($2.2 billion), primary metal mfg ($1.5 billion), machinery, except electrical ($913 million), and paper ($874 million).

Exports Sustain Thousands of Alabama Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 4,034 companies exported from Alabama locations in 2015 (latest year available). Of those, 3,245 (80.4 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.

  • Small and medium-sized firms generated 15.5 percent of Alabama's total exports of goods in 2015.

Alabama Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Alabama exported $4.1 billion in goods to Canada in 2016, representing 20 percent of the state’s total goods exports.

  • Canada was followed by China ($3.3 billion), Germany ($3.2 billion), Mexico ($2.6 billion), and United Kingdom ($558 million).

  • Alabama’s exports (2016 Value) to major world areas included:

  • 2016 Value

    • APEC $12.6 billion

    • Asia $6.5 billion

    • European Union $5.1 billion

    • South/Central America and Caribbean $1.2 billion

    • Sub-Saharan Africa  $283 million

  • 42 percent of Alabama’s exports ($8.5 billion) go to current FTA partners.  

Agriculture in Alabama depends on Exports

  • Alabama is the country’s 31st largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $1.2 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2015 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).1

  • Alabama exports of agricultural products supported roughly an estimated 12 thousand jobs in 2013 (latest data available), both on and off the farm.

  • Top Agricultural exports (2015 Value) were:

  • broiler meat

    • 2015 State Value: $347 million

    • 2015 State Rank: 3

  • other plant products

    • 2015 State Value: $164 million

    • 2015 State Rank: 26

  • cotton

    • 2015 State Value: $143 million

    • 2015 State Rank: 8

  • other oilseeds and products

    • 2015 State Value: $117 million

    • 2015 State Rank: 6

  • soybeans

    • 2015 State Value: $94 million

    • 2015 State Rank: 22

International Investment Creates Jobs in Alabama

  • In 2014 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 92,700 Alabama workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Alabama included Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. 

  • Foreign investment in Alabama was responsible for 5.9 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2014.

Alabama’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

  • In 2015 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Alabama recorded goods exports: Mobile ($1.8 billion), Birmingham-Hoover ($1.8 billion), Montgomery ($1.4 billion), Huntsville ($1.3 billion), Daphne-Fairhope-Foley ($880 million), Decatur ($563 million), Columbus ($531 million, portions of this MSA are shared with one or more states), Auburn-Opelika ($438 million), Florence-Muscle Shoals ($394 million).