Although not easily identifiable in conventional publications, marine industries provide substantial employment opportunities. In 1980, over 2.3 million workers will be involved in marine-related employment, representing continued growth in both offshore and onshore manpower. As a result, increased attention must be devoted to education and training requirements, as well as detailed local and regional manpower projections.


In their overview of marine manpower, Mackin and Anderson (1976) noted that marine industries provide substantial employment opportunities throughout the nation. While acknowledging gaps in their data, the authors emphasized that little serious attention had been historically devoted to marine manpower, even though offshore oil and gas resources, recreation and seafood production had become critical concerns.

New information is provided in this assessment, as well as a more detailed description of the marine employment data base and its accessibility. Collected primarily through a study of six New England states (Cormeer and Mackin, 1977), caveats are made on Mackin and Anderson's (1976) original employment estimates. Greater understanding and accessibility of employment figures, on a national, regional, state and local basis, can now be gained by using the improved methodology and data from the regional study. This increased accuracy means greater confidence in projecting the occupational needs of both the offshore and related support industries.


Employment information is available from government agencies, trade associations, professional societies, labor unions and employers. All of these sources were used in both the national (Mackin and Anderson, 1976) and regional studies (Cormeer and Mackin, 1977). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the Department of Labor was the most helpful and comprehensive source of information. While each state participates with BLS in reporting data on labor market activity, three national programs warrant special attention. They include:

  1. The ES202 Employment, Wages and Contributions Program calls for a state employment agency to report total employment covered by unemployment insurance, classified by industry. In addition, the program calls for the number of reporting units, monthly "covered" employment and quarterly total and taxable wages, and contributions made by employers.

  2. The Occupational Employment Statistics Program is part of a federal-state cooperative activity involving state employment agencies, the Employment and Training Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This program reports occupational employment in selected industries.

  3. The Industry Occupational Matrix is perhaps the most important single source of employment information for projecting future manpower requirements. Matrices are published for each state, reporting total state employment by occupation, cross-classified by industry.

To bring this information into perspective, it is useful to review the Industry Occupation Matrix for 1975 (Figure 1). This matrix distributes the employment of over 86 million workers into eleven industry groups and nine occupational titles. By grouping employment according to major industries and occupations, it becomes possible to make comparisons between various sectors of the economy.

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