Louisiana leads the United States in domestic maritime employment, according to a recent report published by MarineLink.com.
Commissioned by the Transportation Institute and compiled by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report shows that one in every 83 jobs in the Pelican State are connected to the maritime industry in some way, almost twice as much as that of any other separate state.
The most recent federal figures available show that Louisiana's domestic maritime industry contributed more than $11.3 billion in total economic output and posted 54,850 maritime jobs as of 2011.
As one of the largest industries in Louisiana behind oil and gas, and agriculture, maritime employment includes vessel operators, marine terminals, shipyards and workers engaged in the movement of cargo exclusively within the United States.
Employment income related to Louisiana's maritime industry is more than $3.54 billion annually. Louisiana is the sole state to post more than $10 billion in total gross economic output directly related to its maritime industry, according to the report.
Louisiana's navigable waterway network of over 2,800 miles is only second to that of Alaska and handles more waterborne commerce than any other state,advancing more than 500 million tons of domestic and foreign cargo each year, the study says. The state is also home to a strong regional container port in the Western Hemisphere by tonnage and the second busiest port in the nation based on vessel arrivals.
"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.
According to the Transportation Institute, across the U.S., the domestic maritime industry includes about 40,000 vessels, supports 478,440 jobs, and has an annual economic impact of $92.5 billion. The industry also generates approximately $29 billion in wages and $10 billion in tax revenues nationally.