November 17, 2023

Worldwide employment by U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) increased 1.1 percent to 43.3 million workers in 2021 from 42.9 million workers in 2020.


Highlights of the statistics on employment by U.S. parents and majority-owned foreign affiliates in 2021:

  • Employment in the United States by U.S. parents increased 2.2 percent to 29.5 million workers in 2021. U.S. parents accounted for 68.1 percent of worldwide employment by U.S. MNEs, up from 67.4 percent in 2020.
  • U.S. parents accounted for 23.1 percent of total private industry employment in the United States.
  • The manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share of employment by U.S. parents (25.1 percent), followed by retail trade (23.1 percent). The “other industries” category, which includes accommodation and food services and transportation and warehousing, accounted for 22.2 percent of U.S. parent employment.
  • Employment abroad by majority-owned foreign affiliates of U.S. MNEs decreased 1.2 percent to 13.8 million workers and accounted for 31.9 percent of employment by U.S. MNEs worldwide.

Other highlights of the statistics on the activities of U.S. multinational enterprises in 2021:

  • Worldwide current-dollar value added of U.S. MNEs increased 25.4 percent to $6.6 trillion. Value added by U.S. parents, a measure of their direct contribution to U.S. gross domestic product, increased 27.7 percent to $5.1 trillion, representing 24.4 percent of total U.S. private-industry value added.
  • Worldwide expenditures for property, plant, and equipment of U.S. MNEs increased 7.2 percent to $917.4 billion.
  • Worldwide research and development expenditures of U.S. MNEs increased 10.7 percent to $472.6 billion.

For more information, read the full release.