Exports Support U.S. Jobs

July 6, 2011

Joseph Flynn is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Office of Competition and Economic Analysis

Projected Jobs Supported by Exports, 2009 and 2010 CoverDid you know that 9.2 million jobs in the United States last year were tied directly to exports? The International Trade Administration this week issued a report, Projected Jobs Supported by Exports, 2009 and 2010, which updates an earlier ITA report Exports Support American Jobs. This report provides preliminary estimates for jobs supported by exports for 2009 and for the value of exports that support one job for 2009 and 2010. This report attempts to improve projections, provide transparency in making the projections, and provide 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. Thus, for every billion dollars of exports, over 5,000 jobs are supported.

Not only do exports support millions of U.S. jobs, those jobs actually pay more than jobs in similar sectors unrelated to exports. Earlier work by the International Trade Administration gives an idea of how much more pay they receive. The report Weekly Earnings in Export-Intensive U.S. Services Industries estimates that workers in export-intensive services industries earn 15 to 20 percent more than comparable workers in other industries. Similarly, the report Do Jobs in Export Industries Still Pay More? And Why? estimates that exports contribute an additional 18 percent to workers’ earnings on average in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The International Trade Administration publishes a variety of reports on international trade and economic issues.


  1. So it costs less to employ a person with exports in recession but more in better times. But in recession, they all get axed?

  2. We suspect that the exception would be with exporting jobs; that does not help create jobs in USA right?

  3. For the economy to prosper the exports must be more than the imports, this is the basis for the EXIM Policy (i.e export and import policy). Exports as in physical and electronic products and not jobs

  4. Nowadays, jobs are necessary for every human being who is deserving. But when that person does not get the job he feels so much embarrassment.

  5. OK but is it necessarily bad for consumers in USA that we are importing so much cheap stuff instead of having to make it here on our own? We’re just giving them dollars that we can reproduce to infinity, while they’re giving us finite stuff like oil

  6. Free trading it could be good in economic situations where the country is booming basically because in that situation everything works, but not in a country like America at the moment, where pretty much we are in recession.

  7. Recession playing its spoil sports everywhere in the Globe. Good to know that exports directly supports million of jobs in the United States

  8. Best to try and keep production within the US!

  9. In view of these reports and figures, we should be doing all we can to develop and increase manufacturing in the US to support and bolster our exports.

  10. It’s great to see solid evidence like this that shows that support for trade agreements directly affects us. Thanks.

  11. Good study. For any booming economy there should be surplus exports than imports. Countries should promote exporting of any products which will in turn increase the number of jobs. Exports also bring in foreign currency into the country which definitely will help the economy to get bigger.

  12. That is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing
    this one. A must read article!

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