U.S. Dept. of Commerce: New data shows exports are critical to Wisconsin economy

Contact: Mary Trupo

Phone: 202-482-3809


Goods Exports Support more than 126,000 Jobs; Milwaukee Metro Area Exports Rank in Top 50

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced new data indicating that exports are driving the Wisconsin economy. Goods exports from Wisconsin supported 126,147 jobs in 2013. The Milwaukee metropolitan area registered $8.9 billion in goods exports in 2013, ranking it 37th in the nation.

“This new research demonstrates that exports continue to drive our economic growth and create jobs. The Department of Commerce is dedicated to assisting U.S. firms in meeting the needs of global consumers while strengthening our economy and supporting jobs in cities and towns across Wisconsin and our nation,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig. “U.S. companies of all sizes are exploring the possible benefits of exporting, and looking beyond our borders to expand their customer base. More than 95 percent of potential consumers live outside the United States and crave the world-class products offered by American businesses.”

In February, Commerce reported that U.S. merchandise exports supported 7.1 million jobs nationally in 2013. Commerce’s new Jobs Supported by Goods Exports from States 2013 economic brief shows that goods exports from Wisconsin and the rest of the top 20 states accounted for 82 percent of the total jobs supported by merchandise exports.

Nationally, there were 156 metropolitan areas recording more than $1 billion in merchandise exports. Goods exports from the Milwaukee metropolitan area accounted for 37 percent of Wisconsin’s total merchandise exports in 2013. The Milwaukee area benefited from existing trade agreements, exporting $3.6 billion to NAFTA partners, and $75 million to CAFTA-DR markets.

Key merchandise export categories for Wisconsin in 2013 included machinery except electrical, computer & electronic products, transportation equipment, food & kindred products, and chemicals. Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and Germany were the leading destinations for Wisconsin exports.

Exports have driven nearly a third of economic growth since mid-2009, and account for nearly 14 percent of our economy. Since the launch of the President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), the United States has experienced four consecutive years of record exports. In 2013, total U.S. goods and services exports were $2.3 trillion, and supported 11.3 million jobs nationally.

In May, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced that the Obama Administration will build on the success of the NEI by launching NEI/NEXT: a new customer service-driven strategy with improved information on resources that will ensure American businesses are fully able to capitalize on expanded opportunities to sell their goods and services abroad.

For more information, please visit the Jobs Supported by Exports from States 2013 economic brief and 2013 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas Exports.