California Jobs & Economy

California’s seaports are North America’s primary intermodal gateway to Asia and Transpacific trade.  Maritime industry activities at California’s public seaports are responsible for employing more than a half-million people in the state.  Nationwide, more than two million jobs are linked to maritime industry business conducted at California’s public seaports. 

  • The businesses operating at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, known as the San Pedro Bay Port Complex, generate 951,000 jobs in Southern California (1 in 9), and over 2.7 million jobs throughout the nation.   Marine terminals and ocean carriers operating at the San Pedro Bay Ports not only handle 74% of the West Coast’s containerized market share by providing access to the large and diverse economies of Southern California, but facilitate transloading and intermodal service to the American heartland and the entire Southwest, moving 31% of the nation’s market share. The Port of Los Angeles has been the number one container port in the United States since 2000.
  • The Port of Los Angeles generates 480,000 jobs in Southern California and over 1.4 million jobs in the United States.
  • The Port of Los Angeles moved 10.6 million TEUs in 2021 – the most cargo moved annually by a Western Hemisphere port.
  • The Port of Long Beach supports more than 576,000 jobs. The jobs provide $30.8 billion in regional wages and salaries annually. 
  • Statewide, Port of Long Beach activities support about 705,000 jobs and 2.6 million in the United States.   
  • Port of Long Beach activity is also a major contributor to the tax base, generating more than $46.6 billion in local, state, and federal taxes for calendar year 2017. 

Maritime business in Southern California is diversified beyond just intermodal containers in San Pedro Bay and at the Port of San Diego and at Port Hueneme. Terminals at these Ports are moving millions of new automobiles, specialized cargo, and California exports.

In the San Francisco Bay, the Ports of Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, Benicia and San Francisco serve greater Northern California, as well as the river Ports of Stockton and West Sacramento. The Port of Oakland leads trade in this region as one of the nation’s premier intermodal export gateways.  Oakland’s close proximity to California’s central valley and its productive agricultural sector anchors a strong, balanced intermodal portfolio.

  • The Port of Oakland handled 2,546,351 TEUs in 2018.
  • The Port of Oakland and its partners support more than 73,000 jobs in the region and impact 827,000 jobs across the country.