U.S. shipbuilding and repair contributes $37bn to U.S. economy in one year

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The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry supported more than 110,000 jobs and contributed $37.3 billion in overall annual gross domestic product to the U.S. economy in the year 2013, according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).

The new figures show that the domestic shipbuilding industry is growing. MARAD’s last study, showing figures from 2011, showed that U.S. shipyards supported 107,000 jobs and directly and indirectly contributed $36 billion in gross domestic product.

In 2013, there were 124 active shipbuilders in the United States, spread across 26 states. In addition, there were more than 200 shipyards engaged in ship repairs or capable of building ships but not actively engaged in shipbuilding, according to MARAD. The majority of shipyards are located in the coastal states, but there also are active shipyards on major inland waterways such as the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, and the Ohio River, the MARAD data showed.

According to MARAD, in 2013, the U.S. private shipbuilding and repairing industry directly provided 110,390 jobs, $9.2 billion in labor income, and $10.7 billion in GDP. Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, on a nationwide basis, total economic activity associated with the industry reached 399,420 jobs, $25.1 billion of labor income, and $37.3 billion in GDP in 2013, the MARD data showed.

The states with the highest levels of overall direct, indirect, and induced employment associated with the industry are Virginia, California, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, MARAD said.

The date also showed that the federal government, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and U.S. Coast Guard, is an important source of demand for U.S. shipbuilders. While just one percent of the vessels delivered in 2014 (11 of 1,067) were delivered to U.S. government agencies, 10 of the 12 large deep-draft vessels delivered were delivered to the U.S. government: five to the U.S. Navy, four to the U.S. Coast Guard, and one to the National Science Foundation, according to MARAD.

“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. “As an industry, we are extremely proud to support these good paying American jobs that are filled by some of the most highly skilled, world-class craftsman from coast to coast. It is these craftsman who have served as a hallmark of our innovative industry since its inception and will continue to be as our industry grows and flourishes in the future.”