The maritime industry accounts for nearly 46,000 jobs and $14 billion in direct annual spending in the county, according to a report released Monday.
The San Diego Maritime Industry Report for 2012 said maritime businesses expect to add another 6,000 employees over the next eight years, and maybe more depending on technological advances and economic conditions.
Another 120,000 jobs in the region indirectly depend on economic activity associated with the sea, according to the study put out by the San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and The Maritime Alliance.
Traditional maritime industries like fishing, shipping and port operations accounted for only 10 percent of the direct spending amount. The big economic kick of $6.2 billion comes from what the authors dubbed "Blue Tech," research and development activities across all maritime industries.
While many maritime businesses are based in San Diego, the authors said few of them have a deep connection to the area.
More than one-third of their sales are to other countries. A big portion of the domestic sales end up supporting customers' exports, the report says.
The supply chains of local firms are also generally outside of the area.
“Most claimed that they used local suppliers, contractors, service providers when they are competitive or provide high quality or specialized products and services,” the report says.
The authors suggested that civic leaders develop a strategy to localize the supply chains of maritime businesses.
– City News Service