Air Freight News

Transportation services contributed 6.7% to U.S. GDP in 2022; rising above 6.3% in 2019

Apr 03, 2024

Transportation services (for-hire, in-house, and household) contributed $1.7 trillion (6.7%) to an enhanced U.S. gross domestic product (GDP)1 of $26.2 trillion in 2022—as measured by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' (BTS) Transportation Satellite Accounts (TSAs). TSAs measure the full contribution of transportation to the economy from three types of transportation activities:

• $0.9 trillion or 3.5% of 2022 GDP from for-hire transportation,

• $0.4 trillion or 1.4% of 2022 GDP from transportation activities carried out by non-transportation industries for their own purposes (known as in-house transportation), and

• $0.5 trillion or 1.8% of 2022 GDP from transportation activities carried out by households using personal motor vehicles.

Accounting for the contribution of in-house and household transportation nearly doubles the overall contribution of transportation to the economy as measured by GDP (figure 1). Including in-house transportation brought transportation up from the sixth largest contributor (out of eight sectors) to the fifth largest contributor to the economy in 2022.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Satellite Accounts, available at www.bts.gov/satellite-accounts, as of March 2023

Transportation’s Contribution to the Economy Rose Above 2019 Level in 2022

The contribution of transportation to enhanced-GDP fell in 2020 due to a decline in transportation activity resulting from an economic recession as well as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, increased worked from home, and concerns about contacting COVID-19. Transportation activity rose in 2021 to the pre-pandemic 2019 level of 6.3% and in 2022, rose to 6.7%. For-hire transportation contributed the most to the increase from 2021 to 2022 (rising from 3.2% to 3.5%), while household transportation contributed to a lesser extent, increasing one percentage point from 2021 to 2022. The contribution of in-house transportation remained unchanged at 1.4% from 2021 to 2022.

Note: All other for-hire transportation includes transit and passenger ground transportation (excluding state and local government passenger transit); sightseeing transportation and transportation support; parcel delivery, courier, and messenger services (excluding U.S. Postal Service); warehousing and storage; and other transportation and support activities.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Satellite Accounts

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