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Almonds $21 billion industry in California
planting almonds
The almond industry creates an estimated 104,000 jobs throughout the state, according to a report by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center. - photo by Journal file photo

For the first time ever, the University of California Agricultural Issues Center was able to accurately define the economic impact of the almond industry throughout the state. The results:  Over 100,000 jobs created  and more than $21 billion gross revenue.

“This report is the result of over five months of work, so we are very pleased and excited to reveal the economic impacts of the industry,” said Almond Board of California CEO Richard Waycott during a teleconference on Tuesday. “We never commissioned this type of work before. Now we are able to talk to other stakeholders in the industry about the importance of the almond business.”

Compiled by the AIC, the report explains the economic impacts—both direct and indirect—of California almonds at each stage of production. According the center’s director, Daniel Sumner, the report serves as an accurate representation of the industry’s contribution to the California economy.

In its entirety, the almond industry creates an estimated 104,000 jobs throughout the state, with three quarters of those jobs outside of the industry. This number includes jobs involved in almond farming, direct almond farm employment, and those related to indirect and induced economic activity associated with almond farming.

 “Over 100,000 jobs are generated by the California almond industry across many different sectors,” said Waycott. “Out of that 100,000, approximately 97,000 are here in the Central Valley. The almond business is definitely an important factor in terms of Central Valley employment.”

When considering the combination of direct, indirect, and induced economic output, the report concludes that the total impact of the almond industry on the value of California output is approximately $21.5 billion. From that total, an estimated $11 billion is value added, meaning that $11 billion has contributed to the size of the California economy.  

“Overall, the total impact is upwards of $21 billion, which is a significant impact economically for the state and the Central Valley,” said Waycott. “This is because the Central Valley is truly one of the best places in the world to grow almonds from an environmental standpoint, and really is the only place that almonds are grown in the country.”