A new economic impact study funded by the Alabama Military Stability Commission and released on Monday shows that the defense industry is responsible for providing 264,780 jobs across the state with an annual payroll totaling $19.3 billion.
The total economic impact of military personnel and defense contracts across Alabama amounts to $50.3 billion, according to the report that was compiled by the University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Business.
“From aerospace development in the Tennessee Valley to shipbuilding in the Gulf Coast and at all points in between, the defense industry is vital to Alabama’s economy and job creation efforts,” Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who chairs the commission by virtue of his office, said. “The numbers in this report make the irrefutable case that Alabama must preserve and expand the defense infrastructure already located here while also attracting new companies and assets, as well.”
A more detailed look at the report reveals that 96,340 jobs in Alabama are currently held by active duty military personnel while 168,439 are filled by Department of Defense contractors.
When divided into regions with heavy military influence, the defense-related jobs are divided as follows:
- Redstone Arsenal Region: 143,156 jobs; $13.2 billion payroll
- Fort Rucker Region: 28,865 jobs; $2.7 billion payroll
- Maxwell/Gunter Region: 26,706 jobs; $1.9 billion payroll
- Coastal Region: 21,331 jobs; $1.02 billion payroll
- Anniston Region: 13,102 jobs; $1 billion payroll
- Birmingham Region: 2,583 jobs; $146 million payroll
- Dallas County Region: 559 jobs; $15 million payroll
- Marion County Region: 22 jobs; $1 million
Other facts outlined in the report show that Alabama’s aerospace sector provides 63,258 jobs with an economic impact of roughly $17.4 billion, and the Alabama National Guard is responsible for 15,263 jobs with an economic impact of almost $2.5 billion.
The U.S. Coast Guard and its Aviation Center in Mobile provide 4,468 jobs with a payroll of $314 million and an economic impact of $904 million.
Fort Benning, which is located in Columbus, Georgia, provides 4,346 jobs in Russell and Lee counties with a payroll of $151 million and an economic impact of $472 million.
The Alabama Military Stability Commission was created through state statute in 2011 and is comprised of elected officials, cabinet members, and regional appointees from areas of Alabama with a heavy defense concentration.
The panel is tasked with recommending and implementing the steps necessary to protect and promote, the federal military presence across the state.