US marine economy bounced back from Covid-19 pandemic in 2021

US marine economy bounced back from Covid-19 pandemic in 2021

The U.S. marine economy had an economic impact of USD 432 billion (EUR 402 billion) in 2021, making up nearly two percent of the country's gross domestic product.

The annual Marine Economy Satellite Account, a joint publication of NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, shows the marine economy bouncing back strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic, outpacing overall U.S. economic growth with 7.4 percent growth in GDP and 10.5 percent growth in sales. The marine economy had dipped six percent in 2020 as the pandemic took a toll.

The marine economy also supported 2.3 million jobs in 2021. Employment in the sector increased 10.5 percent as the sector added 221,0000 full- and part-time employees, vastly outpacing the U.S. economy, which only saw employment increase 2.9 percent.

"These economic data are critical to appreciate how the blue economy is essential to American economic prosperity,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said.

Marine-related businesses generated USD 730 billion (EUR 679 billion) in sales in 2021.

NOAA ranked the 10 marine sectors by sales as follows:

  • Tourism and recreation – USD 232 billion (EUR 216 billion);
  • National defense and public administration – USD 190 billion (EUR 177 billion);
  • Offshore minerals – USD 97 billion (EUR 90 billion);
  • Transportation and warehousing – USD 57 billion (EUR 53 billion);
  • Living resources, including fisheries and aquaculture – USD 31 billion (EUR 29 billion);
  • Ship and boat building – USD 20 billion (EUR 19 billion);
  • Coastal utilities – USD 13 billion (EUR 12 billion);
  • Research and education – USD 10 billion (EUR 9 billion);
  • Professional and technical services – USD 7 billion (EUR 7 billion); and
  • Marine construction – USD 6 billion (EUR 6 billion).

The tourism and recreation sector saw the biggest gains over the prior year, with the government reporting 27.3 percent growth from 2020.

"The marine economy of the United States is crucial to the creation of new businesses, the dissemination of new technologies and the expansion of existing ones,” NOAA National Ocean Service Director Nicole LeBoeuf said. “This data illustrates why it is important to support investments and policies that enhance the health and sustainability of marine sectors.”

Image courtesty of the Bureau of Economic Analysis


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