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Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises, 2019

Summary:
Worldwide employment U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) increased 2.4 percent to 43.9 million workers in 2019 from 42.9 million workers in 2018, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the operations and finances of U.S. parent companies and their foreign affiliates. Employment in the United States by U.S. parents increased 2.7 percent to 29.3 million workers in 2019. U.S. parents accounted for 66.7 percent of worldwide employment by U.S. MNEs, up from 66.5 percent in 2018. Employment abroad by majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) of U.S. MNEs increased 1.8 percent to 14.6 million workers and accounted for 33.3 percent of employment by U.S. MNEs worldwide. U.S. parents accounted for 22.2 percent of total private industry

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Worldwide employment U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) increased 2.4 percent to 43.9 million workers in 2019 from 42.9 million workers in 2018, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the operations and finances of U.S. parent companies and their foreign affiliates.

Employment in the United States by U.S. parents increased 2.7 percent to 29.3 million workers in 2019. U.S. parents accounted for 66.7 percent of worldwide employment by U.S. MNEs, up from 66.5 percent in 2018. Employment abroad by majority-owned foreign affiliates (MOFAs) of U.S. MNEs increased 1.8 percent to 14.6 million workers and accounted for 33.3 percent of employment by U.S. MNEs worldwide.

Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises, 2019

U.S. parents accounted for 22.2 percent of total private industry employment in the United States. Employment by U.S. parents was largest in manufacturing and retail trade. Employment abroad by MOFAs was largest in China, the United Kingdom, Mexico, India, and Canada.

Worldwide current-dollar value added of U.S. MNEs was nearly unchanged at $5.7 trillion. Value added by U.S. parents, a measure of their direct contribution to U.S. gross domestic product, increased 0.5 percent to $4.2 trillion, representing 22.6 percent of total U.S. private-industry value added. MOFA value added decreased 1.5 percent to $1.4 trillion. Value added by MOFAs was largest in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.

Worldwide expenditures for property, plant, and equipment of U.S. MNEs increased 3.4 percent to $943.8 billion. Expenditures by U.S. parents accounted for $738.9 billion, and MOFA expenditures accounted for $205.0 billion.

Worldwide research and development expenditures of U.S. MNEs increased 7.1 percent to $408.4 billion. U.S. parents accounted for expenditures of $350.2 billion, and MOFAs accounted for $58.2 billion.

Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises, 2019

Additional statistics on the activities of U.S. parent companies and their foreign affiliates including sales, balance sheet and income statement items, compensation of employees, trade in goods, and more are available on BEA’s website. More industry detail for U.S. parents and more industry and country detail for foreign affiliates are also available on the website.

Updates to the statistics

Statistics for 2018 were revised to incorporate newly available and revised source data. Preliminary statistics for 2018 were released in August 2020 and highlighted in “Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises in 2018” in the September 2020 issue of the Survey of Current Business.

Updates to Statistics on 2018 Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises [Billions of dollars, except as noted]
  U.S. Parents  MOFAs
  Preliminary
estimate
Revised
estimate
Preliminary
estimate
Revised
estimate
Number of employees (thousands) 28,565.5 28,532.3 14,393.5 14,352.1
Value added 4,207.5 4,212.3 1,473.8 1,458.2
Expenditures for property, plant, and equipment 721.6 723.1 190.4 189.6
Research and development expenditures 323.1 322.9 58.2 58.5

Next release: November 18, 2022
Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises, 2020

Bureau of Economic Analysis
The BEA Advisory Committee advises the Director of BEA on matters related to the development and improvement of BEA’s national, regional, industry, and international economic accounts, especially in areas of new and rapidly growing economic activities arising from innovative and advancing technologies, and provides recommendations from the perspectives of the economics profession, business, and government.

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