PORTSMOUTH — Members of the Seacoast Shipyard Association say that Portsmouth Naval Shipyard had a total economic impact of nearly $883 million in 2018.
This number reflects civilian payroll at $548 million, military payroll at $44 million, purchased good and services at nearly $121 million and contracted facility services at more than $169 million, according to a report issued Thursday.
Association Chairman John Joyal calls the shipyard one of America’s crown jewels and says it is essential for national security.
“It still makes the hair on my arms stand up when I think about it,” Joyal, who is retired, said during a news conference in Portsmouth.
Joyal acknowledged that the shipyard is undergoing some funding challenges, which officials are working to resolve, and said there is concern within the community, but the main focus of the day was the people who work at the shipyard. They fight every day to defend our country, he said.
“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is really just an island in the middle of a river between two states,” Joyal said. “If it wasn’t for the men and women who have taken an oath to do what I just said, it’s just a piece of real estate.”
According to the economic impact report, New Hampshire workers fill 2,635 of the 6,972 jobs at the shipyard. The top communities that supply employees are Rochester at 460, Dover at 395, Portsmouth at 255 and Somersworth at 194.
The 460 Rochester employees earned $30.5 million in 2018, according to the report. That averages out to about $66,400 per employee.
Overall, New Hampshire workers were paid nearly $197 million in 2018 — money Joyal said goes right back into local communities.
Vice Chairman Michael Ralston made the graphics that accompany the report. He says the shipyard’s total economic impact has grown 41.6 percent since 2013.
“It shows that there’s huge growth there,” Ralston said.
Areas that are increasing over time include purchased goods and services and contracted facility services.
On Thursday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee and is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued a statement about the report.
“This economic impact report reaffirms what we already know about the Seacoast’s single largest employer: The shipyard is immensely important to our regional workforce, economy and our nation’s security,” Shaheen said.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established on June 12, 1800, during the administration of President John Adams, and is the U.S. Navy’s oldest continuously operating shipyard.