U.S. Marine Sector a Major National Economic Contributor, Data Show

A chart showing the growth in the marine economy compared to the U.S. economy in 2022. Image: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The U.S. marine sector generated $777 billion in sales, supported 2.4 jobs and accounted for $476 billion in economic impact in 2022, according to data released June 6 by NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The annual Marine Economy Satellite Account (MESA) data highlighted tourism and recreation as the sector’s biggest contributor with $163 billion, followed by national defense and public administration with $149 billion and offshore minerals with $62 billion.

Meanwhile, the sectors that displayed the most growth for 2022 were ship and boat building with a 14.6% increase, coastal tourism and recreation with an 8.1% uptick and marine transportation and warehousing with a 7% increase.

The two agencies also included data on wind energy and alternative power generation’s contribution to the U.S. economy for the first time. Wind farm construction accounted for $161 million in sales, while alternative power generation contributed $10 million in sales, according to the analysis.

“This report underscores the critical need to do whatever we can to support and bolster the marine sector,” NOAA National Ocean Service Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf said. “Our nation’s marine economy influences many aspects of our economic landscape and our daily lives, affecting regions far beyond our coasts.”

By Karen Robes Meeks