Posted August 13, 2019
Cargo activity through Jacksonville’s seaport supports tens of thousands of jobs and more than $31 billion in annual economic output for the region, according to a new study by maritime research firm Martin Associates.
The study finds that about 26,000 people are employed in port-dependent positions in the Jacksonville area, including direct, indirect and induced jobs relying on the port. This is about eight percent more than the amount found in a previous study conducted in 2013. The port’s total economic value has increased by 15 percent over the same period. In addition, the study finds that 138,500 jobs across the state of Florida are related to cargo moving through Jacksonville’s port.
The direct jobs are well-paid, too: port-dependent jobs pay an average annual salary of $70,000, well above the state average of $46,000. The port's $31.1 billion in total economic output includes $767.4 million in wages, $634.6 million in business purchases and $247.1 million in state and local taxes, in addition to indirect activity.
“The successes we are experiencing throughout all of our lines of business have a direct and lasting impact on our region and state,” said Jaxport CEO Eric Green. “The more we continue to invest in this port and grow our reputation as a global gateway into the Southeast U.S., the more jobs we create for our neighbors and the more revenue we put back into our area’s economy.”
The port’s Asian container trade is a primary driver of its containerized cargo growth, and it has nearly doubled since 2013. Thanks in part to the New Panama Canal, the port offers regular service to China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and other East Asian destinations. Volumes have continued to rise: Jaxport set a new record for container and auto moves during the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019, including nearly one million containers, a six percent increase over the same period last year.
The port has achieved significant Asian volume increases following the 2017 decision by the Jaxport board to begin deepening the port's harbor to 47 feet. The port says that its steady container volume growth illustrates the importance of harbor deepening, which will allow Jaxport to accommodate more cargo aboard the increasingly larger ships calling Jacksonville. The project is ahead of schedule and expected to be complete in 2023.