America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers Create 1.94 Million Jobs and $295 Billion in Economic Impact

BETHESDA, MD – August 17, 2016 – A new economic impact report released today details the positive effect that America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers have on local, state and national economies, creating 1.94 million jobs and generating more than $295 billion in economic impact.

Released by American Beverage Licensees (ABL), which represents beverage alcohol retailers across the country, the 2016 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers provides an in-depth look at the role that beverage licensees play in the U.S. economy.

“Beverage licensees serve their communities every day by providing good-paying jos and stimulating their local, state and national economies,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich.  “Retail hospitality businesses are economic drivers that, along with their partners in the three-tier beverage alcohol system, make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.”

The biennial study – which updates the 2014 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers and was conducted by economic research firm John Dunham & Associates – shows that since 2014 tax revenues contributed and jobs supported by beverage licensees have increased significantly.  The results reflect a growing retail hospitality industry and beverage alcohol marketplace that continues to thrive, meeting consumer needs and showcasing an unprecedented variety of beer, wine and spirits products.

“Beverage licensees and their businesses – be it on-premise or off-premise establishments– play a dynamic role in the larger economic portrait of this country,” noted John Dunham, President of John Dunham & Associates, which conducted the economic research.  “As reflected in the report, these businesses generate billions in tax revenues at the local, state and federal levels, and create millions of jobs throughout the larger economy.”

Key findings of the 2016 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers include:

  • $295.4 Billion – Total economic activity the beverage alcohol retail industry is responsible for annually
  • $25.3 Billion – Federal taxes paid by the beverage alcohol retail industry last year*
  • 1.94 Million – Number of jobs direct retail alcohol sales account for in the U.S.
  • 4.27 Million – Number of additional jobs supported by the beverage alcohol retail industry in the U.S.
*Figure includes on- and off-premise retailer, supplier and induced taxes.

The 2016 report provides a detailed picture of the impact of licensed establishments.  The study identifies the economic scope of direct retail alcohol sales, as well as the impact of on-premise, full-service restaurants and drinking places – which, in addition to beverage alcohol, often sell other products.

An Advocacy Tool for ABL Members

ABL members can access the 2016 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers through an interactive portal on the ABL website (  They can download data and generate tailored reports broken out at the national, state, Congressional district and state legislative district levels.  This provides ABL members with the ability to quantify the significant contributions they make to their communities when it comes to jobs, taxes and economic impact.  To access the study, members can contact the ABL office.

“ABL supports its state affiliates and their efforts to promote policies that will allow their members to compete on a level playing field and continue to run successful beverage businesses,” said Bodnovich.  “The information in the economic impact study is a powerful tool for demonstrating the importance of these businesses.”

  • Click here for the summary infographic of the economic impact study (PDF).
  • Click here to view the 2016 national economic output data for on- and off-premise retail beverage alcohol sales (PDF).

# # #