Reports: Exports a driver of jobs, economic growth

Exports supported more than 11 million U.S. jobs last year, bolstering the Obama administration's push for a far-reaching trade agenda as an avenue to economic growth, a new government report said on Tuesday.

The Commerce Department research shows that exports of U.S. goods supported 7.1 million jobs and that overall goods and services exports — which totaled $2.3 trillion — supported more than 11.3 million American jobs in 2013.

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“This new research provides further evidence that exports are strengthening our economy and creating good jobs," said Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerMichelle Obama officiated Chicago wedding: report Election Countdown: Trump plans ambitious travel schedule for midterms | Republicans blast strategy for keeping House | Poll shows Menendez race tightening | Cook Report shifts Duncan Hunter's seat after indictment Former Obama officials launch advocacy group aimed at Trump's foreign policy MORE.

"All told, nearly one-third of our economic growth since mid-2009 has been driven by exports and 11.3 million Americans have export supported jobs," she said.

At the same time, metropolitan areas exported more than $1.4 trillion in goods to the world in 2013, accounting for nearly 90 percent of all goods exports.

Texas exports supported more jobs — an estimated 1.1. million — than any other state. Houston topped metropolitan area rankings for a second consecutive year with $115 billion in goods exports.

“The fact is that exports have been the driving force behind growth in states and communities across the country, and exports account for nearly all of the post-recession growth in cities like Youngstown, Detroit and Kansas City," Pritzker said.

Goods exports from the top five states — Texas, California, Washington, Illinois and New York — supported an estimated 3 million jobs, or 43 percent of all jobs supported by exports in 2013.

In fact, goods exports from Texas and California supported one out of every four jobs supported by exports.

Meanwhile, exports from U.S. metropolitan areas increased by nearly $43 billion, or 3.1 percent, between 2012 and 2013. Along with Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Detroit complete the top five metropolitan area rankings.

Seattle showed the highest annual dollar growth in exports for a second consecutive year, with exports expanding by $6.4 billion last year.

More than 200 metropolitan areas reported positive export growth in 2013. There were 156 metropolitan areas with more than $1 billion in goods exports, with 23 areas exceeding $10 billion and 10 eclipsing $25 billion.

In May, Pritzker announced that the Obama administration would expand on a 2010 export initiative by launching a customer-service-driven strategy with improved information on resources for businesses to take advantage of opportunities to sell their goods and services abroad.