According to estimates the industry directly employs more than two million people worldwide, with a further two million contractors and four million people in supporting industries. Steel is used in industries such as automobile, construction, transport, power and machine goods. World steel production has increased from around 851 mega tonnes in 2001 to 1,548 Mt in 2012 – say analysts. World average steel use per capita has steadily increased from 150 kg in 2001 to 215 kg in 2011. Countries such as Brazil, South Korea, Turkey and India have all entered the top ten steel producer list in the past few decades. The steel industry is at the source of employment for more than 50 million people.
Steel industry is trying to adapt itself to the changing times by embracing environmental responsibility. Steel is the main material used for parts delivering renewable energy – solar, tidal and wind. All steel produced as long as 150 years ago can be recycled today and used in new products and applications. Global steel recycling rates are estimated at around 85% for construction, 85% for automotive, 90% for machinery and 50% for electrical and domestic appliances.
Use of steel permeates almost every facet of life. Almost 200 billion cans of food are produced each year. Food stored in steel cans need not be refrigerated. Steel is used for building huge ships delivering raw materials, finished goods and energy must have the highest impact toughness, corrosion resistance and weld ability. Skyscrapers are made possible by steel. The housing and construction sector is the largest consumer of steel today, using more than 50% of world steel production. Around a quarter of the typical computer contains parts made of steel. Steel surfaces are hygienic and easy to clean. Surgical and safety equipment and commercial kitchens are all made with steel.