Kentucky Ranks Top 5 in the Nation for U.S. Maritime Jobs

Maritime Industry Worth More Than $2.7 Billion Annually to Bluegrass State


PADUCAH, KY – Kentucky ranks fifth among all states in per capita domestic maritime jobs, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Transportation Institute and released by the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry. The state’s 13,260 domestic maritime jobs pump more than $2.7 billion annually into the Kentucky economy and maritime worker income in the state totals more than $720 million.


“With Paducah situated at the confluence of four major American rivers, our region is proud to be the inland waterways hub of the United States,” said Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). “The First District is home to more than half of Kentucky’s maritime jobs, which are worth $1.5 billion annually. Each year our state’s fleet of tugboats and barges, supported by the Jones Act, move tons of coal and other products that help boost America’s economy.”


“The study findings for the state of Kentucky are particularly telling because of the good-paying, family-wage jobs those numbers represent,” said Tom Allegretti, AMP Chairman and American Waterways Operators President & CEO.Parade Magazine recently highlighted Kentucky towboat captain Martin Leake in its annual What People Earn survey. Captain Leake is a great example of the career path available within this industry, a path on which an individual can start out as a deckhand and quickly advance through the ranks to senior vessel-based positions. In today’s economy, that really is valuable.”


The PwC study shows that domestic maritime cargo safely and efficiently transported into Kentucky totals more than 43.8 million tons each year. The top cargos coming from Kentucky include coal, lignite, and coal coke, which make up more than 44 percent or 29.5 million tons of all cargo moved. The top states receiving cargo from Kentucky include Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia, which are also the same ones that send cargo into the state.


America’s domestic shipbuilding industry also plays a key role in Kentucky’s economy by providing more than $291 million every year in economic impact, and more than $187 million in worker income.


Across America, the domestic maritime industry includes approximately 40,000 vessels, which support 478,440 jobs, and have an annual economic impact of $92.5 billion according to the Transportation Institute’s findings. Nationally, the industry also accounts for approximately $29 billion in wages and $10 billion in tax revenues.


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