Port Tampa Bay released a report Thursday that shows it contributes $17.2 billion in economic impact to the region, which grew from the $15 billion reported in 2013, the last time the port commissioned a study.
The economic impact report studied financial figures for 2015, according to a news release, and was completed by the firm Martin Associates. The purpose of the study is to measure the local, regional and state impact of Port Tampa Bay generated by maritime activity at its cargo, cruise and shipyard terminals.
The report outlines that Port Tampa Bay supports 85,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to its operations. Total port-related wages and salaries grew to $5.1 billion and the mean salary for port-dependent jobs was $55,000.
Cargo activity at the port's public and private terminals increased 3.4 million tons from 2012 to 2015, according to the release. The growth was driven by limestone and phosphatic fertilizers, petroleum products and break bulk steel.
"In the short time I have been at Port Tampa Bay, we have been named the port operator of the year by Lloyd's List … but having this study validates the incredible work our team at Port Tampa Bay and our partners provide here. It truly is a testament to our outstanding port community," said Paul Anderson, port president and CEO in a statement. "We look forward to increasing that overall economic impact in the years ahead, with a variety of opportunities and projects that we will be announcing."