Today, our maritime industry has never been stronger – or more important to our region. Around here, maritime matters.
Washington State’s Maritime industry is rooted in the State’s rich history of timber production, its location as a trade hub, and its proximity to some of the world’s most productive fisheries. And we’ve always been the primary gateway to Alaska and Asia.
Our maritime industry is annually worth $45.9 billion to the state economy, according to a 2022 study by the Washington Maritime Federation. In 2022, the industry directly and indirectly employed 174,300 workers, with an average salary of $112,000 – nearly $40,000 above the state’s median salary!
Washington is also the most trade dependent state in the United States. Today, four in ten jobs in Washington are tied to international trade, according to the Port of Seattle.
And the maritime industry is thriving!
The growth of the industry is not just in shipping. You can see the strength of the industry at our shipyards, cruise ship terminals, Fishermen’s Terminal, Shilshole Bay Marina, ferry terminals and maritime businesses throughout Washington.
Because around here, Our Maritime Matters.
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The Washington Maritime Federation released the Washington State Maritime Sector Economic Impact Study 2022.
The study details an industry that is a foundation of our state’s economy and a leader in innovation and sustainability.
“The maritime economy of Washington state has long provided economic prosperity to our region. Our culture of commerce and trade was built on the ports of Puget Sound,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed. “Today this tradition continues to benefit the entire state, and indeed the country.”
Average earnings among maritime workers reached $112,000 in 2022, including benefits.
In 2022, the maritime sector supported 174,300 jobs, $14.4 billion in labor income, and $45.9 billion in business revenues.
Maritime activities in Washington state supported an estimated $382 million in state taxes in 2022, including all direct, indirect, and induced impacts.
Maritime sector jobs and activities can be found in nearly every county in Washington state. While the majority of activities are along the Puget Sound coast, maritime jobs exist in Central and Eastern Washington through river ports, rail operations, recreational boating, and logistics. Counties with the largest number of maritime workers were King (24,000 jobs) and Kitsap (19,000 jobs).
The maritime industry represents a diverse workforce, from executive-office positions to factory-floor workers and fishermen.
The industry is positioning itself to meet future challenges: with workforce development initiatives, technological innovation, and environmental stewardship.
"This study speaks to the tremendous importance of the maritime industry to Washington state,” said Chad See, WMF Board President, and Executive Director of the Freezer Longline Coalition. “Maritime drives our economy, lifts up our communities and delivers our goods to consumers around the world. Through innovation, investment in our workforce, and hard work, maritime continues to deliver for our state.”