Interior Programs Supported 2 Million Jobs Nationwide, Contributed $363 Billion in Economic Output during 2010

Last edited 09/05/2019

WASHINGTON -- The Department of the Interior's wide range of recreational, conservation, energy, land and water management programs and activities supported more than 2 million American jobs and contributed about $363 billion to the Nation's economic activity in fiscal year 2010, according to a departmental report using standard input-output economic modeling techniques.

“Usually, the value of Interior's programs and activities is measured by the type of services we provide the American people, whether conserving a landscape, containing a wildfire, facilitating energy development on public lands or welcoming the public to a national park or wildlife refuge,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in announcing the release of the study. “This report demonstrates that the Department also generates and supports private sector jobs and economic growth across the Nation, underscoring how investing in recreation, conservation and energy development can play an important role in getting our economy moving again.”

Interior-managed public lands, through recreation visits and natural resource management activities, support a stable work-force that is important to the economic health of the communities and regions where these activities take place. Interior's programs and activities are managed primarily by its eight bureaus, each with a distinct mission, ranging from land and water management, to providing recreational services at parks, monuments and refuges, to wildlife conservation, supporting American Indian tribal communities, providing science for a changing world, and managing energy and mineral development on public lands.

Among the report's major highlights:

  • The 437 million recreational visits to Interior-managed lands in 2010 supported more than 388,000 jobs nationwide and contributed over $44 billion in economic activity. Many of those jobs were in rural communities, including 15,000 jobs in Utah, 14,000 jobs in Wyoming, 9,000 in Colorado and 8,000 in Arizona.
  • Energy development and mining on lands Interior manages supported about 1.3 million jobs and $246 billion in economic activity. Most of those jobs are in Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana and Texas.
  • Interior provides services to 1.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives from 565 tribes. Activities on tribal lands contribute more than $14 billion in economic output and support nearly 137,000 jobs. Other support for tribal governments (through loan guarantees, and other aid to tribal governments) contributes $1.2 billion in economic output and about 13,000 jobs.
  • Interior's water supply, forage and timber activities, primarily on public lands in the West, supported about 370,000 jobs and $48 billion in economic activity.
  • Land acquisitions and infrastructure maintenance also support a wide variety of natural resource preservation and enhancement as well as recreation activities. The $214 million spent on land acquisitions in 2010 contributed an estimated $442 million in economic activity and supported about 3,000 jobs. Investments in construction and maintenance totaled about $2 billion, which contributed about $5.5 billion in economic activity and supported about 41,000 jobs.
  • The economic contribution of restoration efforts for the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and the Everglades contributed $427 million in economic output and support more than 3,200 jobs.

Total jobs and economic activity supported by Interior activities are estimated using standard input-output economic modeling techniques. The models are used to trace expenditures in a particular industry, how that money cycles through the economy, and the additional economic activity that results. Input-output models provide a snapshot of economic activity at a given point in time for a given region and reflect the pattern and level of economic activity within that region at that time.

The economic impacts and employment from ARRA funding are not included in the report but are estimated by the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Information on the economic impacts of ARRA is at

The 149-page report is available for download here and below.


Was this page helpful?

Please provide a comment