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The International Trade Administration is focused on job creation. Specifically, ITA works to create environments where U.S. companies can export more effectively and exporting U.S. companies can create more jobs. To support ITA’s efforts to create more American jobs, the Office of Trade Policy & Analysis assesses the impacts of various trade policies and issues on the U.S. economy and evaluates how they will affect U.S. employment. The Office of Trade Policy & Analysis also collects and evaluates employment data.

Export-Related Jobs

Jobs Supported by State Exports 2016, December 2017

Jobs Supported by State Exports 2016: Data

This paper presents estimates of jobs supported by goods exports from the 50 states.  In 2016, exports of goods and services supported an estimated 10.7 million U.S. jobs, of which goods exports supported 6.3 million jobs, a decline of 100 thousand from the 2015 level.  Exports from Texas, California, and Washington supported the most jobs in 2016, together accounting for over 1.9 million jobs.  The decline in US jobs supported by goods exports in 2016 was reflected in the state level values, with 28 states seeing their exports support fewer jobs than in 2015.

Jobs Supported by Exports 2016: An Update, August 2017

Jobs supported by exports were a projected 10.7 million in 2016, a decrease of approximately 160,000 from 2015’s total of almost 10.9 million jobs.   The decline in the number of jobs supported was the result of declines in the value of exports of both goods and services.  Overall, the value of goods and services exports declined 2.5 percent in 2016.  A decline in the overall level of U.S. export prices combined with almost flat U.S. labor productivity resulted in an increase of 54 jobs supported by a billion dollars of exports in 2016, from 5,690 to 5,744.

Jobs Supported by Export Destination 2015, November 2016

Jobs Supported by Export Destination Excel Data

Jobs Supported by Export Destination Infographic

In this report, we present estimates of the number of jobs supported by exports to specific country and regional destinations. In 2015, U.S. exports to Asia and Pacific supported 3.4 million jobs, exports to Europe supported 3.1 million jobs, and exports to North America supported 2.8 million jobs.

Jobs Supported by Exports 2014, Product and Industry, July 2016

Jobs Supported by Product and Industry 2014: Infographic

This report uses an input-output approach to evaluate the jobs supported by exports throughout the supply chain for the most recent year that industry data was available, 2014. First, we look at the jobs supported within an industry by exports that are produced in that industry or by the use of the output of that industry as an input into a product that is exported. Second, we look at the jobs supported by the export of a product across all industries that produce the export or that or supply inputs used in the production of the export.

In 2014, we find that as a group manufacturing industries have the highest share, 26 percent, of their employment supported by exports. We further find that although 59 percent of all export supported jobs are supported by the export of goods, 68 percent of all export-supported jobs are within service industries. Finally, we find that for every job within manufacturing supported by the export of manufactured products there is also a job supported in service industries by the export of those manufactured products.

FDI-Related Jobs

Jobs Attributable to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States, February 2016

Jobs Attributable to FDI: Infographic

In 2013, majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign firms employed 6.1 million people. In addition to these direct jobs, foreign direct investment (FDI) contributes to a number of indirect jobs. However, little is known about the total number of jobs attributable to FDI in the United States. We use the United States Applied General Equilibrium (USAGE) model to estimate the total jobs attributable to FDI. We find that in addition to 6.1 million direct jobs, there are 2.4 million indirect jobs attributable to the economic activity of foreign firms and 3.5 million indirect jobs attributable to technology spillovers from foreign firms, for a total of 12 million jobs attributable to FDI in the United States.

Other Employment Publications

International Trade and Local Transportation Employment, March 2012

This paper examines how the expansion of international trade can significantly increase the level of employment in the transportation sector using an econometric model that quantifies the effect of U.S. exports on the level of transportation sector employment in different parts of the United States.  The expansion of U.S. exports between 2003 and 2010 added between 63,000 and 140,000 workers to the sector, with a central estimate of 101,000 workers.  This positive contribution of U.S. exports to transportation sector employment offsets some of the national decline in transportation employment over this period.  The 30.4 percent increase in the value of exports between 2003 and 2010 helped to limit the national decline in transportation employment to about one percent over this period.

Projected Jobs Supported by Exports, 2009 and 2010, July 2011

The International Trade Administration’s 2010 report “Exports Support American Jobs” provided preliminary estimates for jobs supported by exports for 2009 and for the value of exports that support one job for 2009 and 2010. This Economic Brief attempts to improve projections, provide transparency in making the projections, and provides revised estimates for 2009 and 2010.  The revised estimates of jobs supported by exports are 8.7 million in 2009 and 9.2 million in 2010. The value of exports that supports one job was $164,000 in 2009 and $181,000 for 2010. That is, the value fell slightly from 2008 to 2009 because of the recession and softness in export prices. In 2010, the value increased to $181,000 as export prices and productivity strengthened.

Weekly Earnings in Export-Intensive U.S. Services Industries, March 2011

This paper analyzes the weekly earnings of workers in the U.S. services sector. It estimates the premium in labor earnings in U.S. services industries that are export-intensive. The calculations combine worker-level data on weekly earnings, educational attainment, occupational categories, and other demographic characteristics from the Current Population Survey with industry-level data on U.S. exports of services from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  It estimates that workers in export-intensive services industries earn 15 to 20 percent more than comparable workers in other industries.

Do Jobs in Export Industries Still Pay More? And Why? July 2010

This paper uses an econometric model to estimate the impact of exporting on the earnings of U.S. manufacturing workers. It examines a sample of the recent earnings of nearly 60,000 U.S. manufacturing workers. It estimates the impact on earnings of several worker characteristics, including the export intensity of the worker’s industry and the worker’s education, age, location, and occupation. It estimates that exports contribute an additional 18 percent to workers’ earnings on average in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Employment Changes in U.S. Food Manufacturing: The Impact of Sugar Prices, February 2006

This paper focuses on employment issues in food manufacturing (including confectionery), cane refining, and related industries. In particular, the paper examines whether U.S. jobs have been lost as a result of the movement of manufacturing facilities offshore due, in material part, to the differential between U.S. and world sugar prices.


For more information please contact: Julian Richards.

Last Updated: 3/19/18 12:10 PM

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