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In the Future, There Will Be a Distillery on Every Corner


The following is an excerpt from Justin Fox | March 16, 2018 | Bloomberg.com |

One of the fun things I discovered looking through the jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week was that, during a generally impressive stretch for manufacturing employment growth, "breweries, wineries and distilleries" was among the industries leading the way.

Part of what's going on here is that Americans are drinking more alcoholic beverages while soft drink consumption has declined. But that can only explain some of the job growth. Alcoholic beverage sales in the U.S. rose 21 percent in dollar terms from 2010 to 2016, while employment more than doubled.

No, what's really changed is how alcoholic beverages -- beer and spirits in particular -- are being produced. For a long time, both industries in the U.S. were dominated by a few giant players. Over the past decade, both have seen an explosion in new entrants. The number of wineries has also grown, but it was already growing steadily before 2011. These numbers are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, a BLS data source that's not as timely or available as far back as the payroll numbers in the monthly jobs report but gets into far more detail:

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