NOAA Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy

Last modified: 
August 30, 2016 - 4:05am
Type: Report
Year of publication: 2015
Date published: 09/2015
Authoring organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office for Coastal Management
Publishing institution: NOAA Office for Coastal Management
City: Charleston, SC

According to the report, additional key coastal economic 2012 facts included:

  • $113 billion in annual wages
  • 3.8 percent growth in employment, more than twice the 1.8 percent national rate
  • 147,000 total business establishments
  • 108,000 new jobs created
  • Salaries were above the national average for workers in marine construction, ship and boat building, marine transportation, and offshore mineral extraction. The national average for wages was $49,000; for the ocean and Great Lake industries, the national average ranged from $63,000 to $143,000.

In addition, the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy is a strong contributor to the economy of many states:

  • California employed the highest number of workers, accounting for 17 percent of the nation’s ocean-dependent employment and 22 percent of the nation’s employment in the marine transportation sector.
  • Texas contributed the most to the nation’s ocean GDP, mainly from offshore mineral production. Texas alone produced 35 percent of the ocean-dependent GDP in 2012.
  • Michigan was the leading state in the growth of Great Lakes and ocean employment. After being severely affected by the economic downturn, Michigan’s ocean employment grew prominently by 8 percent in 2012, much faster than the overall state average of 2.1 percent.

This information was derived from NOAA’s Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) data set. ENOW provides time-series data on the ocean and Great Lakes economy and is available for counties, states, regions, and the nation in a wide variety of formats. These data feature nationally consistent information that helps users understand and manage the diverse economic demands placed on the oceans and Great Lakes.

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management developed ENOW time-series data and other products using information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a sister agency of NOAA in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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