What are the most profitable industries in America?

Published 12th Nov 2014
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Big data provider Powerlytics unveils some surprising and unsurprising findings

Doylestown, Pa. (November 12, 2014) – Powerlytics, the big data provider of financial insights and analytics into the 30 million businesses that comprise the American economy, has unveiled some surprising and unsurprising findings on the most profitable industries. While sectors like energy are booming, the Powerlytics Study of American Profitability found that electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing is the country’s most profitable industry.

The two energy-related industries listed next in the study are a bit more expected. Oil and gas drilling and related services is the second most profitable industry in America, and oil and gas extraction is number three.

For a list of the top 10 most profitable industries in America, visit http://blog.powerlytics.com/big-data- offers-big-insights-into-most-profitable-us-industries.

For years, similar surveys have gotten it all wrong. In fact, a recent study widely cited by the national media incorrectly identified accounting as America’s most profitable industry. By aggregating and analyzing publically available government data culled from the actual operating performance of every for profit business in America, Powerlytics was able to definitively determine the most profitable American industries and put to rest the misperceptions that have been plaguing headlines.

“In the past, data on financial performance was collected through self-reported (primary) and third- party aggregated (secondary) surveys,” says Kevin Sheetz, CEO and co-founder of Powerlytics. “The problem is that self-reporting and third-party reporting are known to be notoriously inaccurate, face selection bias and are fraught with errors that paint an imprecise picture of the economy as a whole.”

The Powerlytics study assures accuracies—insights only made possible by the emergence of big data analytics and its ability to find and report obscure connections in disparate data sets. It was performed on the Powerlytics Market Intelligence Platform, which is comprised of all 30 million for profit businesses in the United States, excluding financial services and real estate related companies. Profitability was defined as the ratio of EBITDA to sales for 2013.

“In essence, we can now find answers to some of the most basic questions about our economy with complete accuracy, thanks to our proprietary methods that can make sense of huge amounts of data— even open data that is publically available, but where insights have not yet been effectively mined because of the disparate nature of the data sets,” explains Sheetz.

The top five list of most profitable industries (profit percentage): This

  1. Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing (36.4 percent): This sector manufactures products that generate, distribute and use electrical power (e.g., producing transformers, electric generators, fuse boxes).
  2. Oil and gas drilling and related services (32.4 percent): This is defined by the government as contract or fee-based support services offered to the mining and quarrying of minerals and for the extraction of oil and gas. (It is officially labeled “Support Activities for Mining.”)
  3. Oil and gas extraction (32.3 percent): Operates or develops oil and gas field properties, which can include crude petroleum exploring, desilting equipment or operating separators.
  4. Motion picture and sound recording (31.9 percent): This category includes businesses producing and distributing video and audio recordings or providing related services (e.g., production services, exhibition services, etc.)
  5. Telecommunications (31.2 percent): The sector includes establishments that provide telecommunications and related services (e.g., telephony, cable and satellite television distribution services, internet access, etc.).

About Powerlytics

Powerlytics provides the most comprehensive, accurate and granular consumer and business financial data available in the U.S. Our proprietary big data analytics platform analyzes anonymized financial information from publicly available U.S. government sources and reconstructs it into easily understood financial statements that provide a comprehensive financial view of the 154 million households and 30 million businesses that comprise the American economy. Major U.S. corporations and financial services providers are using Powerlytics’ data to manage risk, discover potential markets, drive corporate strategy, benchmark performance and enhance both business and consumer target marketing. Visit http://blog.powerlytics.com/ or www.powerlytics.com for more information.

Media Contact: 

Brittany Liberatore
Gregory FCA for Powerlytics