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8/29/2007



Rail News: Intermodal

Port-sector activities responsible for 8.4 million American jobs and $2 trillion in economic output, study says



Last year, U.S. deep-draft ports and seaport-related businesses generated 8.4 million American jobs and added $2 trillion to the economy, according to a recently completed study examining the impacts of coastal and Great Lakes ports.

Of the 8,397,301 Americans working for ports and port-related industries in 2006, about 7 million were employed by firms involved in handling imports and exports, such as retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and logistics companies, concluded business consulting service Martin Associates.

The firm based its findings on 2006 U.S. port cargo statistics and thousands of recent port-sector interviews, according to a statement issued by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

"The tremendous growth in overseas trade volumes moving through our ports in the past decade has been a huge boon to the American economy," said AAPA President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Nagle. "The jobs these imports and exports create are spread throughout the country, not just in port cities, making them a vital part of our nation's economic fabric."

In addition, businesses providing goods and services to U.S. ports directly and indirectly paid $314.5 billion in total wages and salaries, according to the study. Of that total, $207.4 billion came directly from businesses involved in handling international waterborne commerce, Martin Associates concluded. Moreover, port-sector businesses generated a high rate of economic output: Business revenues and the value of the goods and services they provided totaled nearly $2 trillion, the firm found.

In addition, port-sector businesses paid more than $102 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2006.

"Compared to the last study we developed in 2000, these figures indicate a significant increase in the financial benefits that the port industry provides the American economy," said Martin Associates President John Martin.

For a summary chart of port-sector economic impacts resulting from the study, click here.


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