Electric Co-ops Support Nearly 623,000 Jobs, Contribute $111 Billion to U.S. GDP Annually, Report Finds


October 10, 2023

Contact: Brad Captain, Corporate Relations Group, 800-424-2954

WASHINGTON Oct. 10, 2023 – America’s electric cooperatives supported approximately 623,000 American jobs and contributed $111 billion annually to gross domestic product (GDP) from 2018 through 2022, according to a new report. Many of these impacts occur within the local communities served by co-ops, including 424,000 jobs and $75 billion annually in GDP. Yet these activities also have far-reaching impacts across the country—even in areas where co-ops do not serve consumers directly.

The country’s approximately 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit, and democratically governed electric co-ops deliver power to 42 million Americans in 48 states across 56 percent of the nation’s landmass, including 92 percent of the country’s persistent poverty counties.

The report, Economic Powerhouses: The Economic Impacts of America’s Electric Cooperatives, details the economic impacts of a range of activities conducted by cooperatives, through the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, as well as capital investments, additional operations and maintenance expenses, and the disbursement of excess operating revenue returned to cooperative members as capital credits.

Viewed alongside their commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable electricity to their consumers, the business activities, capital investments, and operational expenditures made by co-ops drive sizeable and enduring economic benefits across their communities, adding value for local, statewide, and national economies.

The analysis was carried out on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC) by Strategen Consulting, an energy strategy professional services firm.

“This report quantifies what many American families and businesses know well—electric cooperatives are powerful engines of economic development in their local communities,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “Affordable and reliable electricity is a key ingredient for a successful economy. Electric co-ops are focused on the long-term success of local communities as they keep the lights on and power economic growth.”

“We’re seeing electric cooperatives expand their community investments and foster opportunities beyond traditional poles and wires—from creating business incubators to building broadband networks and attracting new employers,” CFC CEO Andrew Don said. “These endeavors are further advancing the billion-dollar economic impact of electric cooperatives locally and nationally.”

The study finds that cooperatives contributed $1.1 trillion in total U.S. sales output and $257 billion in labor income over the five-year period. Resulting federal tax revenues totaled $40.6 billion over this period or $8.1 billion annually. State and local tax revenues totaled $94.5 billion, or $18.9 billion annually.

The report can be accessed at: https://www.strategen.com/strategen-blog/economic-powerhouses.


The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $15 billion annually in their communities.

About CFC

Created and owned by America’s electric cooperative network, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)—a nonprofit finance cooperative with $34 billion in assets—provides unparalleled industry expertise, flexibility and responsiveness to serve the needs of our member-owners. CFC is an equal opportunity provider. Visit us online at www.nrucfc.coop.