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Commerce Department Reports Demonstrate that Exports Continue to Help Spur U.S. Economy and Support Jobs

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Exports of Goods Supported 7.1 million jobs in 2013

Guest Blog Post by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

The Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce today released two new reports that further prove exports are strengthening our economy and creating good jobs. I am very pleased that for the very first time, our department has released data detailing the number of jobs supported by goods exports in 2013 in each of the 50 states. A second report released today highlights the level of goods exports achieved by each of the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in 2013.

Back in 2010, President Obama launched the first-ever national strategy to increase exports, the National Export Initiative (NEI), with the idea that American businesses could lead our economic recovery by selling more of their goods and services to markets all over the world. The NEI has been a remarkable success. The United States has broken export records for four straight years, hitting an all-time high of $2.3 trillion dollars last year, up $700 billion from 2009. And just four years after NEI was launched, we know that 1.6 million more Americans have export-supported jobs, bringing the total to 11.3 million Americans who wake up every day and go to work in jobs supported by exports.

Today’s new data show more evidence of the NEI’s success. The first report released today, Jobs Supported by Goods Exports from States in 2013, breaks down the national total of jobs supported by good exports in 2013, 7.1 million, into estimates of the number of jobs in each state that are supported by goods exports. Texas exports supported more jobs – an estimated 1.1. million – than were supported by the exports from any other single state. Data show that goods exports from 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.

The second report, U.S. Metropolitan Area Exports in 2013, is one we at the Department of Commerce produce annually.  It shows that U.S. metropolitan areas exported more than $1.4 trillion in goods to the world in 2013, accounting for 90 percent of all U.S. exports. The report details the export levels achieved by individual metropolitan areas in 2013, and shows that 208 of 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas – or MSAs – reported increases in their goods exports over the previous year. Houston  topped metropolitan area rankings for a second consecutive year with $115 billion in goods exports. The Seattle, Washington area reported the largest dollar growth in exports in 2013 -- $6.4 billion over the previous year.

Both reports show the positive momentum we have when it comes to increasing our exports from cities, metropolitan areas and states across the country. As I have traveled across the country talking to more than 1,200 business leaders and more than one-third of Fortune 500 CEOs, I have felt this momentum and seen examples of companies both large and small that have made exporting a fundamental part of the way they do business. In places like Albuquerque, Youngstown, Detroit, and Kansas City, nearly all post-recession growth has been driven by exports. Many businesses believe exports have been a lifeline through this economic recovery.

But there is more we can do to build on this success, generate even more economic growth, and support more American jobs through exports.

To that end, I was pleased in May to launch the next phase of the National Export Initiative, called NEI/NEXT. The goal of this new initiative is to help broaden and deepen our exporter base, and help more American businesses of all sizes export to more overseas markets where 95 percent of potential customers live.

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