A new study highlights the importance of the domestic maritime industry to the Alaska economy. The study puts the industries contribution at the Alaska economy at over $1-billion dollars a year. The new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers puts Alaska at 3rd in the nation in per capita maritime jobs with an estimated 4.3-thousand jobs and worker income of over $344-million dollars a year.
The maritime industry serves a waterway network in Alaska of over 5.4-thousand miles, which is the largest such network in the nation. Senator Lisa Murkowski touted the new report by noting that the maritime industry provides vital services necessary for Alaska’s economy and quality of life. Senator Mark Begich also spoke to the new study by confirming that he will use his chairmanship of the Oceans, Fisheries and Coast Guard subcommittee in the Senate to make Alaska a worldwide hub for maritime activity as shipping in the Arctic increases. The new study was specifically focused on the domestic maritime industry and many lawmakers are touting the Jones Act as a way to protect that industry. Congressman Don Young believes the Jones Act is necessary to maintaining a viable U.S. merchant marine fleet.
The new study includes information about the shipbuilding industry in Alaska. That industry is believed to account for about $108-million dollars in annual economic impact with over 1.1-thousand associated jobs. Worker income in the shipbuilding industry in Alaska is estimated at over $63.9-million dollars a year. The study finds that more than 38-million tons of domestic maritime cargo originates from Alaska each year with over 17-million tons of that cargo going to Washington State. Just over 11-million tons goes to California. The domestic cargo sent into Alaska using maritime routes totals over 8.8-million tons a year with over 2.9-million tons coming from Washington State. About 150-thousand tons comes from California. Other notable statistics in the new report show that over 34-million tons of crude oil from Alaska is transported by the maritime industry to other states while at the same time over 7-million tons of petroleum products are brought into Alaska. The study indicates that the domestic maritime industry includes over 40-thousand vessels, 478-thousand jobs and a total economic impact to the nation of over $92-billion dollars.