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Explosives Build America: Economic Impact Study Highlights Critical Role of Commercial Explosives in Building the U.S. Economy

Economic Impact

WASHINGTON, DC – The Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) today released its first-ever economic impact study highlighting the importance of the commercial explosives industry at the national, state, and congressional district levels. The study, based on 2023 data, revealed that the commercial explosives industry creates more than 60,000 jobs and contributes more than $19 billion each year to the U.S. economy.

Considered the ultimate power tool, commercial explosives are essential for quarrying aggregates necessary to build our nation’s infrastructure, mining critical minerals, and producing both traditional and renewable sources of energy.

“Few people today give much thought to the essential role commercial explosives play in our everyday lives,” said IME president Clark Mica. “Throughout our nation’s history, commercial explosives have not only helped build America, they have enabled our modern way of life. Whether it is the car you drive to work, the fuel you use to power your car, the roads you drive on, or the mobile phone you use to communicate, commercial explosives make all of these things possible.”

The economic impact study includes the direct contribution, supplier contribution, and downstream positive impacts of the entire commercial explosives industry value chain - from manufacturers to distributors to users.

“This report shows the great success and impact of the commercial explosives industry,” said Tim O’Brien, president of Detotec North America, Inc, and chair of IME’s board of governors. “The commercial explosives industry creates good paying career opportunities with good benefits while also being a positive economic driver in our local communities.”

The study showed the commercial explosives generated more than $1.2 billion in federal taxes and another $1 billion in state and local taxes for municipalities across the country that goes to important things like building roads and schools.

“Our mission is to improve the world we live in through the safe and responsible use of commercial explosives,” said Jason Rawlings, President of Austin Powder Co., and vice chair of IME’s board of governors. “While there are still significant opportunities to grow our workforce, you can’t dispute the overall positive impact our industry has in the U.S.”

Mica concluded: “The impact of commercial explosives cannot be understated. As the first link in many of our nation’s supply chains, commercial explosives truly build America.”

The study was conducted by John Dunham & Associates, a prominent economic research firm, and was commissioned by the Institute of Makers of Explosives.

For more information, including industry data at the state and Congressional district level, please visit

ABOUT IME: The Institute of Makers of Explosives' mission is to promote the safe and secure manufacture, transport, distribution, and use of commercial explosives. For more than 100 years, the Institute has represented U.S. manufacturers of commercial explosives and other companies that distribute commercial explosives or provide related products and services. Each year, an average of three million metric tons of commercial explosives are consumed in the United States and are essential to energy production, communications, technology manufacturing, highway and building construction, the healthcare delivery system, food, and the manufacturing of nearly all metals and mineral products. If you use or consume it, explosives make it possible.


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