America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers Create 2.03 Million Jobs & $122.63 Billion in Direct Economic Impact

BETHESDA, MD – OCTOBER 23, 2018 – As the American economy continues to grow, a new economic impact report released today details the significant impact that America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers have on their local, state and national economies through job creation, direct economic impact and the generation of tax revenues.

The 2018 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers provides an in-depth look at the important role that beverage licensees play by creating more than 2.03 million jobs from direct retail alcohol sales and paying more than $47.9 billion in local, state and federal taxes. The direct economic impact of America’s beer, wine and spirits retail industry is more than $122.63 billion annually; the total economic impact of the industry is $363.33 billion annually; and the industry is responsible for 1.65 percent of the U.S. economy based on total GDP.

“Now in its fourth iteration, this independent economic impact report confirms the value licensed beverage retailers provide to their communities and adds an economic chapter to the success story of a beverage alcohol marketplace that delivers more choice to consumers than ever before,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “As grassroots advocates for the thriving hospitality industry, independent beverage licensees frequently share the stories of their Main Street businesses and how they are part of the civic fabric of their hometowns. This report underscores their remarkable impact as employers, taxpayers and economic engines at the local, state and national levels.”

The biennial report – which updates the 2016 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers – was conducted by economic research firm John Dunham & Associates. All alcohol-related jobs in on-premise full-service restaurants and drinking places, as well as all alcohol-related jobs in off-premise package stores, are included as these businesses depend on the sale of alcohol for a substantial portion of their revenues and profits. In all other locations, this analysis examines on- and off- premise retail alcohol beverage sales accounting for full time and equivalent jobs related solely to the sale of alcohol.

“The beverage alcohol industry is one of the most dynamic sectors of the economy today. Licensed on- and off-premise establishments, be they taverns, restaurants, hotels, package stores, or local grocers, are an important part of nearly every community in the country,” said John Dunham, Managing Partner of John Dunham & Associates. “Not only do they provide important jobs and services, but they also generate millions of dollars in tax revenues for the federal, state and local governments.” Dunham added, “Our research shows how this growing industry creates more than 9 million full-time equivalent jobs, real jobs held by real people in a variety of fields including manufacturing, agriculture and hospitality.”

A Tool for ABL Members
ABL members have access to state-specific breakdowns of the 2018 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers via the ABL website ( These reports, talking points and data sets can be created and downloaded to reflect the impact of retail beverage alcohol sales at the national, state, congressional district, and state legislative district levels. This provides ABL members with a means to demonstrate the significant contributions they make to their local communities. ABL members can obtain a password to download reports by contacting their state licensed beverage association.

“ABL supports its members as they advocate for their businesses and industry in their state legislatures, and support commonsense alcohol laws and regulations,” noted Bodnovich. “This report and its findings will aid them in these efforts.”

# # #

American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate more than a 2.03 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $27.9 billion in federal taxes and $20.0 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit
John Dunham & Associates is an economic research firm with 25 years of experience and specializing in tax and regulatory economics. In today’s complex policy environment, a wide range of government entities, business competitors, interest groups, and non-governmental organizations can impact your bottom line. Firms can better manage potential risks and respond to opportunities by developing fact-based economic materials, messaging tools and stakeholder relations. John Dunham & Associates can help you respond to threats and opportunities in the policy arena by providing strong analysis, as well as unique, credible messages and tools for use in lobbying, stakeholder engagement, communications, and litigation support. To learn more about John Dunham & Associates, visit