The U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that the nation's shipyards support $36 billion in gross domestic product, as part of a report on the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry issued today. Acting Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen shared the findings of the report, The Economic Importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repairing Industry, at the FuturePorts Annual Conference in Long Beach, California.
"Shipyards create quality jobs and support economic growth far beyond our nation's ports and waterways," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This report shows that wherever you live across the country, Americans benefit from opportunities generated by the shipbuilding and repair industry."
The report notes that although most shipbuilders are located in coastal areas, the direct and indirect economic benefits reach all 50 states. In 2011, the nation's more than 300 shipyards directly provided more than 107,000 jobs, $7.9 billion in labor income to the national economy and contributed $9.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition, the average income for these industry jobs, $73,000, is 45 percent higher than the national average. On a nationwide basis, including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, the industry supported 402,010 jobs, $23.9 billion of labor income and $36 billion in GDP.
The Obama Administration recognizes the economic importance of the maritime industry and has provided historic levels of funding to improve shipyards across the nation. Since 2009, the Department of Transportation has provided nearly $150 million to improve infrastructure at U.S. shipyards through its small shipyard grant program.
"Our shipyard investments go directly toward an industry that's vital to our economic security and national defense," said Acting Administrator Jaenichen.
The report notes the U.S. shipbuilding industry has run a trade surplus in six out of the last ten years, with a cumulative trade surplus of $410 million over this period. The report also shows that from 2010 to 2012, deliveries of vessels of all types, including tugs and towboats, passenger vessels, commercial and fishing vessels, and oceangoing and inland barges, exceeded 1,200 vessels per year, reaching 1,457 vessels in 2011.
The Maritime Administration works to strengthen the maritime transportation system of the United States to meet the country's economic and security needs. The report, The Economic Importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repairing Industry, can be found at http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/MARAD_Econ_Study_Final_Report_2013.pdf