Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 30, 2016
The Pengagon - Source: https://www.hirono.senate.gov/tours

Not long ago, we built a tool to estimate the economic impact of new jobs, where we focused on what the economic footprint that particular industries might have if they were to start doing business in a community. Shortly after that, we uncovered just how much of the GDP of the United States has come about in recent years from contractors supporting U.S. military operations and civilian government activities overseas.

That got us wondering about the economic contribution of the U.S. military within the United States to the communities where it maintains bases, so we wondered if we could rework our original economic impact tool to do that math.

So we did! We estimated the number of jobs that are generated within communities that have a significant military presence, coming up with a figure between 4.0 and 4.6 per active duty personnel.

That's high compared to what we saw for the private sector oil and aerospace industries, but that also reflects the unique nature of the military's activities, which require higher levels of support for its labor and logistics-intensive operations that often involves highly specialized equipment and ordnance.

That high figure also accounts for why local and state elected officials vigorously compete to put military bases within their districts and states, and also why they just as vigorously fight military base closures so fiercely.

The rest of the economic impact math is pretty similar to what we did previously with our new jobs economic impact tool, so we've simply dropped some military specific values for a small community as our tool's default values. If you have a specific scenario you would like to consider, just swap out our default numbers with ones that apply for your situation. In case you're reading this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, please click through to our site to access a working version of the tool below.

New and Existing Job Data
Input Data Values
Number of Active Duty Personnel Being Added to the Community
Average Annual Income for New Jobs Being Directly Added by the Military
Average Annual Income of Other Jobs in the Community
Number of Other Local Jobs That Will Be Generated for Every Active Duty Service Member
Military's Projected Economic Output for Work Done in Community

Economic Impact of New Jobs in Community
Calculated Results Values
Total Annual Income from Jobs Directly Provided by the Military
Estimated Number of Additional Other Jobs Created in Community
Total Annual Income from Additional Jobs Generated in Community
Combined Annual Income from All Jobs Added to Community
Total Annual Economic Contribution of the Military to the Community

As with our private sector economic impact tool, our military economic impact tool will also consider the cost to a community for a base closure or reduction in active duty personnel stationed within the community.

But for the communities that score new military facilities, there's big reason for excessively elaborate ribbon-cutting ceremonies!

Dignitaries join Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon (center), for the official ribbon cutting ceremony during the open house at the MSG Gunnar Larson Armory in St. Helens, Ore., Oct. 22. Source: https://www.oregon.gov/OMD/pages/pressrelease/2010/10-22-10press.aspx

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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