Study: Maritime Jobs Pump $11.3 Billion Annually Into Louisiana Economy

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April 11, 2014

Photo courtesy Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA)

New data released this week shows that Louisiana ranks first in the nation in economic impact from the U.S. domestic maritime industry, creating 54,850 maritime jobs that pump more than $11.3 billion annually into the Louisiana economy.

The United States’ domestic maritime industry includes vessel operators, marine terminals, shipyards, and workers engaged in the movement of cargo exclusively within the United States.

According to a study commissioned by the Transportation Institute and conducted by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers (PwC), Louisiana also ranks first in the country in maritime jobs per capita, with one in every 83 jobs connected to the state’s domestic maritime industry, nearly twice that of any other state.

Louisiana also ranks third in the nation in shipbuilding, behind Virginia and California, according to a recent study by the U.S. Maritime Administration covering commercial and military construction. Shipbuilding accounts for 29,250 jobs and more than $2.23 billion in annual economic impact for the state. Virginia ranks number one among U.S. states, with 63,650 shipyard. jobs, following by California with 37,140 jobs.

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Members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation strongly support their state’s domestic maritime industry and emphasized the foundation of its strength comes from the Jones Act, which often comes under fire in mainstream media.

The new information was highlighted this week by the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), representing the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, joined with the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA); the American Waterways Operators (AWO); Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and David Vitter (R-La.); and Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), and Cedric Richmond (D-La.).

“Maritime is the one of the largest industries in Louisiana, behind oil and gas and agriculture. But we wouldn’t be standing here today to tout this economic prowess of the maritime industry in Louisiana if it weren’t for the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a jobs act- pure and simple,” said Sen. Landrieu. “I will continue to do all that I can to ensure the Jones Act is properly enforced and Louisiana maritime jobs are protected.”

“Louisiana’s maritime jobs aren’t just important to our state’s economy – they play an incredibly vital role in our national economy,” Sen. Vitter said. “Our position in the maritime industry makes Louisiana a true point of economic strength. I support the Jones Act because it protects those jobs here in Louisiana, as well as our national security.”

“The American maritime industry is leading an economic recovery and investing in America’s waterways infrastructure,” said Rep. Scalise. “Waterborne commerce and our nation’s maritime base are vital to America’s economy, security and quality of life. I’m proud to stand in support of the Jones Act, which is critical to our national security and a public policy success story.”

“Louisiana shipyards build every kind of seagoing vessel from giant cryogenic ships used to transport liquefied natural gas to some of the largest offshore oil and gas exploration rigs in the world,” said Rep. Boustany. “Louisiana also builds merchant vessels, Coast Guard cutters, barges, tugs, supply boats, fishing vessels, pleasure craft and river patrol boats. The shipbuilding industry provides stability throughout the state, in the form of jobs, development, investment, and community support. I’ll continue to support the Jones Act and stand with my Congressional colleagues, determined to protect and develop the domestic maritime industry.”

“The maritime industry is a cornerstone of the American economy, and the Jones Act is essential in sustaining that vitality,” Rep. Richmond said. “478,440 jobs across the country and 54,850 in Louisiana are a direct result of the maritime industry and the Jones Act ensures that these jobs remain American jobs. I am a strong supporter of maritime commerce and will continue to advocate for an equal playing field in the industry so that it has the best opportunity to thrive here at home.”

Leaders in Louisiana’s maritime industry noted their pride in playing such an important role helping to support the nation’s booming domestic energy production.

“Louisiana is America’s lifeline to offshore energy,” said Robert Clemons, Chairman of OMSA and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SEACOR Marine LLC. “More than 25 percent of America’s domestic energy is produced offshore, and the oil and gas industry depends on the more than 2,000 specialized vessels in the U.S. fleet to carry out seismic research, drill test wells, lay pipe, transport and install production facilities, and continually supply them with personnel, commodities, fuel, and equipment. Our industry is proud to play an important role in Louisiana’s thriving and robust domestic maritime industry.”

“Louisiana is critical to our nation’s domestic maritime industry because of its proximity to the lower Mississippi River, which connects 31 states through a critical 14,500-mile system of inland waterways. Tugboats play an important role in this vast port network, safely escorting and maneuvering large container, tanker, and bulk cargo ships in Louisiana waters, as do towboats and barges which move millions of barrels of petroleum products every month,” said Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of the American Waterways Operators and Chairman of the American Maritime Partnership. “Louisiana’s ranks as the nation’s top maritime state is bolstered by the Members of its Congressional delegation, which recognize the industry’s tremendous importance. We are pleased to call them partners in working to strengthen the industry so that it continues to provide critical jobs as well as significant national and homeland security contributions upon which our nation depends.”

Louisiana’s navigable waterway network of over 2,800 miles is second only to that of Alaska and handles more waterborne commerce than any other state, moving more than 500 million tons of domestic and foreign cargo each year. Louisiana is also home to the largest container port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere and the second busiest port in the nation based on vessel arrivals.

Across the United States, the domestic maritime industry includes approximately 40,000 vessels, supports 478,440 jobs, and has an annual economic impact of $92.5 billion, according to the Transportation Institute’s findings. The industry also generates approximately $29 billion in wages and $10 billion in tax revenues.

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