Report: local broadcast market contributes trillions to US economy

Michelle Clancy | 27-02-2014

The local commercial broadcast television and radio industry contributes $1.24 trillion of GDP and 2.65 million jobs to the American economy annually, according to a study by Woods & Poole Economics and BIA/Kelsey.

The analysis, which breaks down television and local radio broadcasting's economic impact, estimated that direct employment from local commercial broadcasting, which includes jobs at local television and radio stations as well as in advertising and programming, is estimated at more than 313,000 jobs, generating more than $55 billion annually in economic impact. Broadcast television accounts for over 188,000 of these jobs, as well as over $32 billion in GDP, while broadcast radio contributes 125,000 jobs that result in almost $23 billion in GDP.

"Broadcast radio and television stations not only provide valuable local news, weather and public affairs programming to local communities, but also serve as a key driver for economic growth in America's hometowns," said NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith. "Whether it is by providing hundreds of thousands of jobs or offering an advertising platform for small businesses, local broadcasting has an unmatched legacy as an engine for economic development and growth."

The study also examined the impact of the consumption of goods and services by industry employees, and found that local broadcasting has a ripple effect on other industries of over $138 billion in GDP and more than 856,000 jobs.

"The income earned by workers in jobs directly related to local television and radio broadcasting, either in the industry itself or in the many suppliers that support the industry directly, helps create additional economic activity," said the analysis. "Each worker directly employed in local television and radio broadcasting maintains a household and consumes all of the goods and services American workers consume. A worker in local broadcast television advertising consumes manufacturing output when he or she purchases an automobile. A worker in local radio broadcasting consumes construction sector output when he or she purchases a new home."