Economy & Jobs
New Bedford boasts a diverse economy that maximizes wages and sustainable employment for all, attracts and retains emerging professionals, rewards a strong work ethic, and is prepared for the challenges and opportunities brought by a changing climate.
Economy and Jobs
NB Resilient Goals
The economy is a focus in our climate action and resilience plan because it's important to insulate businesses from the impacts of extreme weather, provide services in case of emergency, improve people's ability to prepare and recover, and use our resilience as a way to attract future business. Therefore, NB Resilient has laid out four goals:
- Ensure all businesses in New Bedford are aware of and prepared for the impacts of climate change.
- Bolster current port industries and capitalize on opportunities for secondary industries.
- Increase diversity of local industries and support the growth of the creative economy, cultural tourism, technology, green manufacturing, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship.
- Promote pathways out of poverty and build financial stability through training and professional development programs.
To learn more, read our Economy & Jobs Fact Sheet.
Economic Value of the Port
#1 Port in the Nation!
The Port of New Bedford is the #1 fishing port in the nation based on the economic value of annual landings. The port generates over $11 billion in related economic activity for the region and over 40,000 jobs.
Source: Port Authority of New Bedford
Economic Value of the Port
Valuable Commercial Shipping Hub
In addition to fishing, the Port of New Bedford is an important link in shipping goods and materials throughout the Northeast. Shipping by watercraft creates about 70% fewer GHGs than would happen if the same goods traveled by truck, which makes a big difference as over 244,000 tons of material passed through the port in 2017 alone!
Employment & Income Opportunities
Working in New Bedford
Metrics related to employment and income opportunities are improving. In 2017, the percent of individuals under the poverty threshold dropped to 23.1%, down from a high of 24% in 2014. Average income rose by over $1,800 from 2016 to 2017, the biggest single year jump in the past decade.
While these strides are reasons to celebrate, more attention to improving the conditions that support strong growth are needed to ensure these trends continue.
Earning potential is directly tied to educational attainment. In the United States as a whole, someone with less than a high school degree makes on average, $26,000. This jumps to over $38,000 with a high school degree and $48,000 with an associates degree. Ensuring that New Bedford has a qualified workforce is critical to achieving our economic goals.
While graduation rates for New Bedford schools have remained relatively flat over the past five years, some postive trends are underway. The percentage of dropouts has been falling each year with many more finishing the curriculum in some other way than graduation. Helping these individuals take the next step in their education will help ensure New Bedford has the workforce needed to attract and retain new businesses.
Actions You Can Take
Seize Economic Opportunties
Many resources exist for individuals hoping to join the wave of new opportunities that will come with developing new industries like offshore wind. Whether working directly in clean energy or the businesses that will grow up around them, several workforce initiatives are underway. For those with bigger ideas, community partners such as the New Bedford Economic Development Council are ready to help bring your vision to life.