In 2013, the U.S. private shipbuilding and repairing industry provided 110,390 direct jobs, $9.2 billion in labor income, and $10.7 billion in gross domestic product to the national economy, according to a Maritime Administration report released Nov. 3.
“The Economic Importance of the U.S. Shipbuilding and Repairing Industry” said that when direct, indirect and induced impacts are included on a nationwide basis, total economic activity associated with the industry reached almost 400,000 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income, and $37.3 billion in GDP in 2013.
“The MARAD study showcases the important role the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry plays in both commercial and military sectors, while also highlighting the critical support the shipyard industrial base provides to the nation’s economic and national security,” said Tom Godfrey, chairman of the Shipbuilders Council of America and CEO of Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk, Va.
According to the report, the top five states for direct employment in the industry were Virginia, 28,210 jobs or 25.6%; Mississippi,12,720 jobs or 11.5%; Louisiana, 12,230 or 11.1%; Connecticut, 9,030 or 8.2%; and California, 7,190 jobs or 6.5%. About 63% of all private direct employment in the industry is located in the aforementioned five states. Texas, Maine, Alabama, Florida, and Washington rounded out the top 10.
The report also addressed labor income, capital expenditures, and industry output, finding that the majority of capital spending for the industry in 2013 ($928.6 million) was focused on new structures and equipment, while $50 million was spent on used structures and equipment.
In terms of industry output, the report considered data through 2014 and noted that more than 80% of all vessels delivered in the last five years have been inland tank and deck barges. It also stressed the federal government as a critical source of demand for private U.S. shipbuilders, pointing to the fact that 98 of the 150 vessels ordered from U.S. private shipbuilders in 2014 were for the U.S. military.
While the Jones act and other regulations limit imports of finished ships, the report said that exports by U.S. shipbuilders have been on the rise in recent years, reaching nearly $1.5 billion in 2012, and $1.2 billion each of the last two years.
The data was announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus breakfast on Tuesday in Washington. The event was co-sponsored by the Shipbuilder’s Council of America and the Navy League of the United States.