Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2013 Fidley Watch:
Maritime Economic Impact Study

With the recent revelation that the federal government has been falsifying employment numbers for political gain, it becomes even more incumbent on the private sector to provide a dose of reality. Fortunately, reliable data on Washington State’s maritime industry, released late last month, reveals that while the country wrestles with unemployment, the West Coast maritime sector continues to steam along on course with fair winds and following seas.

An economic impact study on the effect of the maritime industry on the State of Washington, commissioned by three Seattle and King County organizations, shows the overwhelming beneficial effects of the maritime industry on the State of Washington’s economy. The Washington State Maritime Cluster Economic Impact Study sought to quantify the impact of the maritime industry in order to better understand and strengthen its contributions to the regional economy.

The study was commissioned by the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle and King County, with input from a broad spectrum of maritime industrial businesses – including Philips Publishing Group. The study looks at the direct and indirect impacts the maritime industry has on the local and regional economy.

According to the study, Washington’s maritime cluster employed more than 57,700 people directly in the state last year, and was responsible for $15.2 billion in gross business income. Indirect and induced Maritime jobs account for another 90,000 jobs, for a total impact of 148,000 Washington jobs. The direct contribution of the industry’s $15.2 billion in gross business income generates another $14.8 billion in induced and indirect output, for a total contribution effect of nearly $30 billion to Washington’s economy.

Here are some of the study’s other findings:

The maritime industry paid nearly $4 billion in wages in 2012 with average salaries of $70,800. In comparison, the state’s median wage is $51,000.

Every direct job in the maritime industry supports 1.6 jobs elsewhere in the economy. And for every $1 million in sales, another 10 jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy.

Industry-wide, revenues have grown 6.4% per year on average with the largest growth rate in Maritime Logistics and Shipping, at a robust 10.2%.

Go to http://www.EDC-SeaKing.org/maritime-study to download the report.

The Washington State Maritime Study is the most recent in a series of developments that give us hope our new governor is more aware of the importance of our maritime economy than was his predecessor. Governor Inslee’s appointment of Steve Sewell to the newly created position of director of maritime gives us a champion at the upper levels of the administration for the first time.

Having served as seaport director for the Port of Seattle, and in various management capacities and PB Ports and Marine, Mr. Sewell is a knowledgeable and articulate advocate for the maritime industry. We wish him well in his new role!

At our recent eNavigation Conference in Seattle, Mr. Sewell and the authors of the maritime study were seen talking to maritime policymakers representing Oregon and California. It’s a safe bet that the good news we’ve quantified scientifically in Washington can be extrapolated along the West Coast, whose independent maritime sectors are encouraged to commission their own economic impact analyses.