Gulf Coast Restoration Creates Jobs Quickly, Locally

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Gulf Coast wetlands restoration could create 29.54 jobs per million dollars invested, according to a 2012 report by Mather Economics. The study looked at the employment potential if $25 billion in funds were allocated specifically for Gulf Coast wetlands restoration projects over the next 50 years, similar to the funding which may result from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.. The research also indicated that $25 billion invested in coastal restoration could create as many as 88,011 incremental employment positions in the Gulf Coast.

Graph 1 – Cumulative Incremental Jobs from $25 billion in restoration funding

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The study, "Job Creation from Gulf Coast Wetlands Restoration," found that as many as 57,697 new jobs could be created across the region within the first 10 years, and in turn, contribute significantly to the economic growth and stability of the Gulf Coast region.

Among the study's key findings, restoration projects in the five Gulf Coast states could, by a moderate estimate:

  • Create 57,697 new jobs over 50 years or 1,549 new jobs per year.
  • Promote strong job growth across the transportation/utilities, government, leisure/hospitality, business services, construction, retail trade, and manufacturing sectors.
  • Generate jobs within a wide range of wages (from $13,334 to $54,471 per year, per person).
  • Bring balance to the regional economy through direct and indirect employment.

The breakdown of incremental jobs by sector reveals job growth across all sectors of the
Gulf Coast economy. The majority of jobs will be created in trade/utilities (20,947), manufacturing (10,504) and construction (8,261), with the other job gains spread over hospitality, government, business services, and other sectors as indicated in Graph 2.

Graph 2 – Total Jobs Added by Sector, Moderate Model

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These findings suggest that while the largest gains are expected in the sectors directly related to restoration projects, secondary job gains will be seen in jobs created for other goods and services across the regional economy.