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Jobs Supported by Exports 2015: An Update

April 8, 2016

Ellen Hughes-Cromwick is Chief Economist for the Department of Commerce 

Today, the International Trade Administration released its report titled “Jobs Supported by Exports 2015: An Update”, which found that the number of U.S. jobs supported by exports declined slightly in the face of significant headwinds from the global economic growth slowdown overseas.

However, exports continued to play an important role in supporting employment in the United States in 2015. Exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs in 2015, down less than 50,000 from the nearly 11.6 million jobs supported by exports in 2014.

Despite the decrease in export-supported employment last year, the number of jobs supported by exports is up 1.9 million since 2009, an increase of 19.8 percent.  The modest decline in export-related employment was largely associated with the decline in goods exports.  The BEA reported that in 2015, current dollar exports of goods and services fell slightly – from $2.34 trillion in 2014, to $2.22 trillion in 2015. However, employment related to services exports ticked up, increasing by more than 2,000 jobs as compared to 2014.

The report also indicates that the number of jobs supported by $1 billion in exports increased last year.  In 2015, every $1 billion in U.S. goods exports supported 5,279 jobs, up from 4,969 jobs in 2014. The number of jobs supported per $1 billion of services exports remained nearly constant in 2015.

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