3 ways the ocean and Great Lakes help keep the U.S. economy afloat

September 28, 2016
Bering sea pollock fleet prepares to depart Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for another season of the largest commercial fishery in the U.S.

Does your job have something to do with the ocean or Great Lakes? If so, you may have helped contribute to our latest economic report – thanks!

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management just released a  new report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy. Here are three stats, as of 2013, that might surprise you:

  1. The U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy accounted for $117 billion in wages.
  2. The ocean economy made up about 2.2 percent of the nation’s employment, more than crop production, telecommunications and building construction combined.
  3. The ocean economy employed more than 3 million people at 149,000 businesses.


About the report
Data in this report are from NOAA’s Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) and focus on economic sectors that depend on the oceans and Great Lakes. Learn more about how marine construction, living resources, offshore mineral extraction, ship and boat building, tourism and recreation, and marine transportation all play a part.