Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2016

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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6 Proceedings Summer 2016 markets, and the many industries that facilitate goods transportation. In addition, many NAICS industry sectors are broad, and the portions of those industries that are waterborne-related are not clear. As a result, the totals in table 1 would under- estimate the contribution of our waterways to the national economy. Nevertheless, the detailed industry information is useful in understanding the economic contributions of a number of waterborne industries. Water Transportation Industries Referring back to table 1, in 2013 there were 1,556 establish- ments in the water transportation industry sector, with rev- enue totaling $41.7 billion. Almost 80 percent of the revenue came from deep sea, coastal, and Great Lakes water trans- portation, which included freight and passenger transporta- tion. Nearly all inland water transportation revenue came from freight shipments. An additional 2,530 establishments offered water transportation support activities, with rev- enues totaling $16.5 billion. In addition, the water transportation industry and related industries that support waterborne commerce generated $18.5 billion in value added, or 0.1 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. 2 Although this industry's share of U.S. GDP has stayed relatively stable, its level has risen from $8.1 billion in 2000 to $18.5 billion in 2014, an aver- age annual rate of 6.1 percent. 3 However, the importance of water transportation in the U.S. economy goes beyond these direct employment, rev- enue, and GDP effects; U.S. waterways bring a substantial The oceans, Great Lakes, and major rivers and tributaries of the United States support a substantial amount of our nation's economic activity. These waterways facilitate inter- state and global commerce and provide natural resources that enable regions and local communities to offer goods and services, supporting their economies and that of the nation. Defining what comprises the waterborne economy and identifying some possible measures of it can help us better understand how greatly businesses and communities rely upon our nation's water resources and infrastructure. National-Level Waterborne Industries Official data collections of U.S. businesses can be used to estimate the economic contribution of particular industry sectors to the national economy. In the U.S. statistical sys- tem, industries are classified according to the North Ameri- can Industry Classification System (NAICS). 1 According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2013, the most recent period for which data is available, there were almost 22,000 establishments in waterborne industries that employed 545,000 workers and had revenues of almost $180 billion (see table 1). In terms of employment and revenues, the waterborne economy represents about 0.5% of the total for all industry sectors. However, these industries are just a starting point for our understanding of the role of waterborne industries in the national economy. For example, national and international waterways facilitate the flow of goods from the place of pro- duction into consumers' hands. Thus, much of the value of the waterborne economy lies in the vast amount of goods moving through U.S. ports for domestic and international The U.S. Waterborne Economy The crucial role our waterway infrastructure and resources play. by Ms. Cassandra Ingra M Economist U.S. Department of Commerce Mr. Fenw IC k Yu Economist U.S. Department of Commerce d r. r eg I na Powers Economist U.S. Department of Commerce Overview

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