18 Sep RIMTA Releases Results of Economic Impact Study on R.I. Marine Trades

RIMTA worked with members of the University of Rhode Island faculty to produce an Economic Impact Study on Rhode Island’s marine-trades sector. The results of the study were released in fall 2018. Learn more in the FAQs below and find a link to a report on the study.

WHAT MAKES THIS STUDY SIGNIFICANT?

A major part of what RIMTA does for its members and the state’s marine trades is advocate for our business sector. No sales tax on boats in Rhode Island is a signature legislative achievement that RIMTA worked toward over 20 years ago, but keeping policymakers informed about the marine trades is an ongoing effort. RIMTA’s Legislative Committee, and the lobbying firm it works with, monitors pending legislation and educates lawmakers about our industry so favorable legislation stays in place.

This study estimates jobs, gross sales, and economic impacts of the R.I. marine trades — making the resultant data a critical building block of our advocacy work. The study also breaks down our R.I. industry into subsectors, so we know how heavily we are weighted in different areas of the marine trades.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE THE R.I. MARINE TRADES? HOW LARGE IS THE SECTOR IN THE STATE?

By the numbers, the Rhode Island marine industry is comprised of 1,712 firms that generate $2.649 billion in annual gross sales and employ 13,337 people. Put into context, our statewide marine-trades sector makes up about 4.7% of the firms in the Rhode Island economy to demonstrate how significant a part of our state’s economy our industry is. This sector includes firms in the areas of boat building and repair, retail boat and equipment sales, marinas, marine construction, manufacturing and supply, diving and salvage, charter and cruise services, and even professional service firms.

WHICH BUSINESS CATEGORY MAKES UP THE LARGEST SUBSECTOR?

Marine Services & Supply is the largest subsector, with 431 firms generating $583.6 million in gross sales annually and 2,757 jobs. The second largest is Marinas, Docks & Yacht Clubs, comprised of 269 firms and generating 2,743 jobs and annual gross sales of $367.43 million. Third is Charter and Cruise Services, with 306 firms generating $336.24 million per year and 1,965 jobs. This report on the study has a complete breakdown on all subsectors in the R.I. marine trades, with information on the number of firms in each subsector, number of jobs, and other data.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY DATA POINTS?

The Rhode Island marine industry is comprised of 1,712 firms that generate $2.649 billion in annual gross sales and employ 13,337 people. The statewide marine-trades sector makes up about 4.7% of the firms in the Rhode Island economy.

The firms in our sector are generally smaller than the average in the economy as a whole, but these marine businesses operate with larger labor income per firm. This is based on a combination of higher wages and higher profitability, on average, in the marine trades despite fewer employees per firm. Since the marine trades compete for skilled talent with so many other business sectors in our country’s current low-unemployment situation, this is an important data point.

WHO DID RIMTA PARTNER WITH TO CONDUCT THIS STUDY?

To conduct this study, RIMTA partnered with University of Rhode Island Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Sproul and PhD Student Clayton Michaud. RIMTA’s working relationship with the University of Rhode Island continues to prove invaluable in our efforts to promote and strengthen the R.I. marine trades. The economic impact study was made possible with support from a U.S. Economic Development Administration Planning Grant.

Click here to read a report on this study, “The Economic Impact of Rhode Island’s Marine Trades Sector.” For any questions about this study, contact Susan Daly at RIMTA (email / 401-396-9619).