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New U.S. Department of Commerce Reports Demonstrate Exports Continue Helping Spur U.S. Economy and Supporting Jobs

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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2013: 11.3 million U.S. jobs supported by overall goods and services exports; New data show number of jobs supported by goods exports in each state; Metro areas exported $1.4 trillion in goods

The U.S. Department of Commerce today released new data highlighting for the first time the number of jobs supported by goods exports from each of the 50 states, as well as a report on goods [1]exports from the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in 2013. The Commerce Department research shows that U.S. goods [2]exports supported 7.1 million jobs whereas overall goods and services exports – which totaled $2.3 trillion -- supported more than 11.3 million American jobs in 2013.
At the same time, U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1.4 trillion in goods to the world in 2013, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all U.S. goods exports. Texas exports supported more jobs – an estimated 1.1. million – than were supported by the exports from any other single state. Houston topped metropolitan area rankings for a second consecutive year with $115 billion in goods exports.
“This new research provides further evidence that exports are strengthening our economy and creating good jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The fact is that exports have been the driving force behind growth in states and communities across the country, and exports account for nearly all of the post-recession growth in cities like Youngstown, Detroit, and Kansas City. All told, nearly one-third of our economic growth since mid-2009 has been driven by exports and 11.3 million Americans have export supported jobs. President Obama and I are keenly focused on further increasing these record numbers by helping more American businesses of all sizes sell to the 95 percent of potential consumers who live outside our borders.”
The Jobs Supported by Goods Exports from States 2013 economic brief indicates that goods exports from the top five states – Texas, California, Washington, Illinois, and New York – supported an estimated 3 million jobs, or 43 percent of all U.S. jobs supported by exports in 2013. In fact, goods exports from Texas and California supported one out of every four jobs supported by exports nationally.
Top metropolitan-area exporters
Exports from U.S. metropolitan areas increased by nearly $43 billion – or 3.1 percent – between 2012 and 2013. Along with Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Detroit complete the top five metropolitan area rankings. The Seattle metropolitan area showed the highest annual dollar growth in exports for a second consecutive year, with exports expanding by $6.4 billion in 2013. Both Texas and California had six metropolitan areas each in the report’s top 50 rankings.
More than 200 metropolitan areas reported positive export growth in 2013. There were 156 metropolitan areas recording more than $1 billion in goods exports, with 23 areas exceeding $10 billion, and 10 eclipsing the $25 billion threshold.
Manufactured exports
Manufactured exports are a subset of goods exports, and account for almost 88 percent of jobs supported by goods exports. The brief indicates that approximately 6.2 million jobs are supported by manufactured products exports nationally
National Export Initiative (NEI)
In 2010, President Obama’s vision was that American businesses could drive economic growth and create jobs by increasing their exports. That led to the launch of the National Export Initiative (NEI) – the first-ever government-wide, comprehensive plan of its kind. Since the launch of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, merchandise exports from 164 metropolitan areas have increased more than 50 percent. Among the top 50 metropolitan areas, seven MSAs – San Antonio; Lake Charles, La.; Beaumont, Texas; New Orleans; Charlotte, N.C.; Kingsport, Tenn.; and Davenport, Iowa – more than doubled their exports since 2009. The Charlotte, N.C., area saw the fastest percentage growth in exports among the top 50 metro areas from 2012 to 2013, with goods exports increasing by 69 percent.
In May, Secretary Penny Pritzker announced that the Obama Administration will build on the success of the National Export Initiative (NEI) by launching NEI/NEXT, a new customer service-driven strategy with improved information on resources that will ensure American businesses are fully able to capitalize on expanded opportunities to sell their goods and services abroad. NEI/NEXT will help more American companies reach more overseas markets by improving data, providing information on specific export opportunities, working more closely with financing organizations and service providers, and partnering with states and communities to empower local export efforts. 
For more information about NEI/NEXT, please visit
[1] Goods exports consist of manufactured exports, agricultural and natural resource and mining exports, and scrap/second hand goods.
2 Data on services exports are not available at the metropolitan area level.

[1] Goods exports consist of manufactured exports, agricultural and natural resource and mining exports, and scrap/second hand goods.
[2] Data on services exports are not available at the metropolitan area level.