Maritime industry worth $30 billion to Washington state

The maritime industry in Washington state generated a total of $30 billion in direct, indirect and induced revenues in 2012 and is responsible for over 148,000 workers, according to a comprehensive study commissioned by the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County with support from the Puget Sound Regional Council. Maritime wages in general are close to or greater than the state median wage of $51,000, averaging $70,800 per year. The industry, as a whole, paid nearly $4 billion in wages in 2012.

The Washington State Maritime Cluster Economic Impact Study conducted by Seattle-based research firm Community Attributes, which included interviews with more than 35 regional leaders in the maritime sector, sought to quantify the impact of the maritime industry across Washington state in order to better understand and strengthen its contribution to the regional economy.

Industry wide, revenues have grown 6.4 percent per year on average with Maritime Logistics and Shipping seeing the highest growth rate at 10.2 percent. The job outlook for the sector also appears rosy, with ample opportunities for job seekers. Retaining and recruiting skilled employees is a top priority for the cluster.

Key highlights of the study include:

  • The 2,090 maritime businesses statewide fall into five core subsectors: Passenger Water Transportation; Boat and Ship Building, Repair, and Maintenance; Maritime Logistics and Shipping; Fishing and Seafood Products; and Maritime Support Services.
  • The Industry’s reach goes well beyond Western Washington with 139 establishments and 2,200 workers located across eighteen counties in Eastern Washington.
  • The cluster had induced and indirect impacts of an additional $14.8 billion in revenue in Washington state, for a total impact of nearly $30 billion in 2012.
  • For every direct maritime job, an additional 1.6 jobs were supported elsewhere in the state economy, and every $1 million in sales by maritime businesses supported nearly 10 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
  • Fishing and Seafood Processing accounted for nearly 60 percent of the industry’s revenues, with Maritime Logistics and Shipping accounting for another 25 percent.
  • Industry-wide, revenues have grown 6.4 percent per year on average with the largest growth rate in Maritime Logistics and Shipping at a robust 10.2 percent.
  • Maritime occupations most in demand during the next eight years are expected to be: civil engineers; meat and fish cutters and trimmers; sailors and marine oilers; fishers and related fishing workers; laborers and freight, stock and material movers; and captains, mates and pilots.

The Maritime Industry is primarily an exporter of goods, products and services, and is a net importer of jobs. Its $15.2 billion in direct revenue generated an additional $14.8 billion in indirect and induced revenue in Washington state in 2012. Indirect revenues are associated with first round purchases, through suppliers for example, while induced impacts are generated through labor income and additional jobs, income, and output resulting from the spending of this income.

In addition to Maritime Industry leaders, regional stakeholders that provided valuable input for this study include the following organizations: Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Philips Publishing, City of Seattle, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, King County, Washington Public Ports Association, and Seattle Community Colleges.

To download the full study, go to:

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