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June 12, 2020

Kittery shipyard's economic impact grew 31% last year, topped $1B

Courtesy / Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in Kittery, generated an economic impact of over $1 billion in 2019, and most of its civilian workforce were Maine residents.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Kittery facility that outfits Navy submarines, generated a regional economic impact of $1.16 billion last year, according to a report issued Thursday.

That number represents a 31% increase over the 2018 impact of $882 million and a 54% jump since 2017.

The shipyard, a sprawling, 300-acre complex on islands in the Piscataqua River, employed 7,310 civilians in 2019.

The study is commissioned each year by the Seacoast Shipyard Association, an advocacy group, using Defense Department data.

More than half of the civilian workforce, 4,025, were Maine residents, who were paid a total of $339.3 million in 2019.

Overall, the civilian payroll totaled $595 million, with another $45.5 million going to military personnel. The yard purchased $123.2 million in goods and services, and contracted for $395.4 million in utilities, construction and public works.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has seen a steady increase in civilian employment in recent years, and has doubled since 1998.

In 2019, the community with the greatest number of civilian employees was the Sanford-Springvale area, with over 500 employees receiving a total payroll of $37.7 million. The Kittery area was home to about 480 employees, accounting for $36.4 million in wages. There were 445 employees from Berwick, who received $33.9 million.

Nearly 500 employees, paid $33 million, resided in Rochester, N.H., the community outside of Maine with the greatest economic impact. Residents of Massachusetts and other states were also employed at the yard, with payroll totaling about $42 million.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is one of four such Navy facilities and the second-oldest, founded in 1800.

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