Northrop Grumman Adds $2.1 Billion To Economy, Study Says

If you need to know what helps the Coast economy keep rolling, experts say look no further than the Coast's shipbuilding industry.

Northrop Grumman released a study Tuesday morning outlining the economic impact of its Pascagoula and Gulfport facilities.

The findings show that for every dollar that Northrop Grumman ship systems makes, another $.60 worth of business is generated outside of the shipyard in the local economy. Add that up, and that means Northrop Grumman, generates more than $2.1 billion of commerce for the Coast each year.

The economic impact extends beyond those people employed directly by the Northop Grumman. Subcontractors routinely fill a number of functions at the shipyards. Last year alone, Northrop Grumman paid more than $40 million to local sub-contractors.

Economists say this is one of the biggest ways shipbuilding effects the entire coast.

"They are staggering," said George Freeland with Jackson County Economic Development. "When you look at the numbers in detailed terms, and you realize the impact that Northrop Grumman ship systems has on the Coast economy, it really takes your breath away."

"What I think is less recognizable on the surface are the number of jobs that are created in wholesale and resale trade, and real state, and health care service and business services," Dr. Phil Jeffress said.

Jeffress was co-author of the study, and he told dozens of business leaders that Northrop Grumman's direct impact on the economy is best measured through the 9,000 Mississippians currently employed.

"It's important to note that every job we add, on average, results in another $40,000 worth of income for citizens of the state of Mississippi," Northrop Grumman President Phil Dur said.

The study took more than year to complete, and local business leaders say they will now use these numbers to sell Jackson County.

"The number we have seen here today become a recruitment tool," Freeland said. "Northrop Grumman is successful here; they are profitable, and they are very satisfied with the work force and the labor that is here."

County leaders say the result from this study, will help guide business decision for years throughout the area.

The study also found that Northrop Grumman ship systems should stay busy for the next few years, with more than $5 billion worth of contracts backlogged.