Electrical equipment manufacturing is a major sector of the U.S. industrial market, employing over 140,000 people as of 2008. It includes companies that manufacture electrical motors, generators, and motor generator units; power, distribution, and specialized transformers; relays; industrial controls; and gear and switchboard instruments. The industry has seen considerable growth in electrical transmission investments since 2003, when a series of regional power outages increased the demand for upgrading older transformers and transmission lines. While employment rates and the number of firms have decreased, growth in the construction industry is expected to benefit electrical equipment manufacturers.
In 2007, the U.S. electrical equipment manufacturing industry generated approximately $41.2 billion in revenue with an estimated gross profit of 25.76 percent. In 2008, revenue increased by roughly $275 million to a total of $41.475 billion. The industry’s gross product value for 2008 came to $20.7 billion. The same year, imports from more than 130 countries were valued at $21.69 billion, up from $20.6 billion in 2007, and U.S. exports to more than 200 countries were valued at $15.75 billion, up from $14.5 billion in 2007. These figures indicated a modest but sustainable level of growth.
Electrical equipment wholesaling is a highly competitive industry with relatively narrow profit margins. It includes companies involved in the merchant distribution of manufactured electrical goods, such as wiring equipment; electrical construction materials; security systems; light fixtures and bulbs; and equipment for generating, transmitting, controlling, or distributing electrical energy. Electrical equipment wholesalers provide products for use by electrical contractors in commercial, private, and industrial applications, but are not involved in the distribution of electronics.
Revenue generated by the electrical equipment wholesaling industry totaled roughly $161.89 billion in 2008, indicating a revenue growth of about 1 percent. The industry gross product value for the same year came to $24.97 billion. Electrical equipment wholesaling employed approximately 170,000 workers as of 2008. The electrical equipment industry as a whole, including manufacturing and wholesaling, has a market capitalization value of about $61 billion, with a net profit margin of 8.1 percent.