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Study Confirms Port's Value to Economy

Nearly 229,000 jobs are generated by activity in the Port of New York and New Jersey, according to a study released September 7, 2001. The independent economic impact study of port operations, prepared by Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Policy Research with assistance from Strauss-Wieder Inc., of Westfield, New Jersey, showed that jobs associated with port activity increased by more than 37 percent since 1995, the last time a similar comprehensive economic impact analysis was conducted. The analysis was prepared for the New York Shipping Association and reflects the state of the industry in New York and New Jersey as it operated in the year 2000.

"This study shows us how the cargo and passengers flowing through the terminals of the Port of New York and New Jersey positively impact the economy of the region. The employers and employees of the port community support the businesses and population of the largest and wealthiest consumer market in the world,” said James A. Capo, President of the New York Shipping Association.

According to Joan Verplanck, President of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, “The number of jobs, resulting salaries and tax contributions associated with port operations far exceeded projections made only three years ago. The results of this study make it very clear that the maritime industry plays a critical role in the business of this region.”

The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third largest port in the United States, the largest on the East Coast and serves 35 percent of the entire population of our country.

General highlights of the study show that port operations provide a total of 228,946 full-time jobs in New York and New Jersey; 413,000 jobs are supported in the nation at large; $9.9 billion in wages generated in New York and New Jersey; $14 billion in wages in the nation at large; $2.1 billion contributed to state and local tax revenues in the port region.

According to the report, over the course of the next five years it is expected that in addition to increased cargo flows, public agencies and private corporations will invest over $4 billion in port-related infrastructure improvements. Those investments will add significantly to the economic impact the port has on the region.

The Executive Summary of the report describes the process by which the study was conducted. A series of in-depth interviews and field visits were conducted in addition to the development and use of state of the art impact models that were customized for New York City, the 26-county metropolitan area, and the states of New Jersey and New York. Each model was customized further to reflect the unique operating and cargo characteristics of each terminal as well as the general characteristics of the port infrastructure investments.

“Ocean shipping is the most economically efficient and environmentally sound method for the transshipment of import and export cargo. Because of its efficiency and relative obscurity people generally don’t see the benefits,” said Frank McDonough, executive director of Nation’sPort, a port advocacy organization. “This study hopefully will bring awareness and support for the continued use and development of this port as a deep, green harbor,” McDonough concluded.

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