U.S. Maritime Workforce Grows to 650,000

file photo
file photo

Published Mar 4, 2019 8:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Transportation Institute, a maritime association that promotes the Jones Act in the U.S., has published details of a PwC report that demonstrates a 30 percent increase in domestic maritime job creation enabled by the Jones Act. The industry now employs nearly 650,0000 Americans across 50 states and contributes $154 billion to the nation’s economic growth annually.

Mirroring unprecedented U.S. job growth, the newly released study finds that the domestic maritime industry:

•     Contributes more than $154 billion in total economic output annually
•     Creates $41 billion in labor income for American workers each year
•     Adds $72 billion annually to the value of U.S. economic output
•     Sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, with one shipyard job creating four jobs elsewhere in the economy.

“From shipyards to the high seas, the maritime industry is indisputably contributing to the American economy in a major way,” said James L. Henry, Chairman and President of the Transportation Institute. “This new study shows the spectacular impact that our industry has on our nation’s overall well-being, especially by providing livelihoods to 650,000 hard-working Americans, thousands of whom proudly served in our military. We simply would not be as strong as we are without the veteran community, and it’s a source of great pride that our growth is benefiting them and their families. Needless to say, the report underscores just how indispensable the Jones Act continues to be for the security and prosperity of our entire country.”

The 40,000 vessels that comprise the Jones Act fleet move nearly one billion tons of cargo annually – or roughly a quarter of the nation’s freight – along U.S. internal waterways, across the Great Lakes and over the oceans to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories. 

In a growing economy – where job creation continues to flourish at historic levels – the Jones Act remains the quintessential “Buy American, Hire American” law, says Henry.