New research: Maritime industry contributes $37.8 billion to Washington economy, 69,500 good jobs.

Washington’s maritime industry remains a key pillar of the state’s economy. Jon Talton, reporting in the Seattle Times on a new study by Community Attributes, Inc., writes:

As of 2015, the latest year for which deep-dive data are available, maritime directly employed 69,500 people, many in high-paid jobs. That was 2.2 percent of all jobs in the state. Another 191,100 jobs were indirectly supported by maritime. 

Talton also makes an important observation:

Maritime remains highly important to the state, region and Seattle, not only in its own right but to maintain a diversified economy. Many of the jobs pay well for skills that can be acquired in community colleges and union apprenticeship programs. 

More detail from the report:

In 2015, Washington’s Maritime Sector supported 69,500 direct jobs. Factoring in upstream support chain transactions (indirect effects) and maritime-related income expenditures (induced effects), the industry supported an additional 121,600 jobs elsewhere in the state economy; for every direct job in maritime, an additional 1.8 jobs were supported through secondary impacts. At the same time, every direct dollar in wages was associated with an additional $1.1 in wages elsewhere in Washington. Maritime Sector activities also supported, through multiplier effects, $37.8 billion business revenues across Washington. For every million dollars in industry revenue, the sector supported a total of 11 jobs throughout the state economy.

As Talton reports, the sector is often overlooked or taken for granted. It should not be. 

The Association of Washington Business ran a cover story, “Washington’s Working Waterfronts,” in its Winter 2016 Washington Business Magazine. The story included information from a 2013 impact report. It’s good to see that the data has been updated; and, very good to see that the update shows continued growth.