News Digest

You are here

Industry Snapshots: Uses of Transportation 2017 Update

Date: Monday, August 6, 2018

Transportation activities made up almost 4 percent of the U.S. economy in 2016, a total of $734.7 billion. Transportation also contributed indirectly to the economy by enabling the production of goods and services as non-transportation industries required $951 billion of transportation services to produce output.

Transportation’s $734.7 billion direct contribution to the economy in 2016 consisted of both for-hire and in-house transportation activities. For-hire transportation services are those provided by transportation firms on a fee basis. In-house operations include transportation services carried out by non-transportation industries for their own use. For-hire transportation services contributed $562.4 billion, while in-house transportation operations contributed $172.3 billion.

Transportation indirectly contributes to the economy by enabling the production of goods like bread and services like healthcare. Non-transportation industries use transportation to acquire raw materials and transport goods to the next stage in processing (e.g., transporting wheat from the farm to the mill and then to the baker).

Non-transportation industries collectively used $951.0 billion of transportation services in 2016. Wholesale and retail trade, information and services, and manufacturing, used the most transportation services, collectively accounting for three-fourths, or $725.4 billion of the $951.0 billion of transportation services used by non-transportation industries.

Wholesale and retail trade, the sector using the most transportation services, also relies the most on transportation, as measured by the amount of transportation required to produce a dollar of output. The utilities sector uses the least transportation services but relies the second-most on transportation to produce a dollar of output.

Industry Snapshots 2017, developed by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, uses information from the 2016 Transportation Satellite Accounts and other sources to highlight the role of for-hire and business-related in-house transportation in the production process for all the non-transportation sectors listed in the U.S. Input-Output accounts. They include:

  • natural resources and mining,
  • manufacturing,
  • constructions,
  • utilities,
  • wholesale and retail trade,
  • services, and
  • government

Industry Snapshots presents the latest available data on the:

  • sector’s contribution to gross domestic product – nationally and by state in 2016;
  • the sector’s use of transportation by mode in 2016;
  • the amount of transportation the sector requires to produce one dollar of output in 2016;
  • number of transportation (e.g., airline and commercial pilots, bus drivers, etc.) and material moving (e.g., cleaners of vehicles, dredge operators, etc.) workers employed by the sector in 2016; and
  • the median annual wage for selected transportation occupations in the sector in 2016.
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2018