Outdoor Industry Association has released figures quantifying the economic impact of outdoor recreation in all 50 states. In Idaho, Americans spend $6.3 billion on outdoor recreation, supporting 76,700 Idaho jobs, generating $1.8 billion in wages, and producing $461 million in state and local tax revenue.
The state-by-state figures expand upon a national report OIA published in June 2012, which found that nationally Americans spend $646 billion each year on outdoor recreation, directly supporting 6.1 million jobs and generating nearly $80 billion in tax revenue.
“Outdoor recreation is a growing American industry that produces significant economic benefits,” said Will Manzer, chair of the OIA Board of Directors and former CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports. “For example, Americans spend almost twice as much on outdoor recreation as they spend on pharmaceuticals each year. And outdoor recreation supports more than twice as many jobs as the oil and gas industry.”
Outdoor recreation creates diverse jobs in product development, manufacturing, marketing, logistics, sales, retail, public land management, guiding services and more — and also supports service sector and other jobs when people spend money on trips and travel-related expenses associated with outdoor pursuits.
With nearly 140 million Americans participating in outdoor activities each year, outdoor recreation is a larger and more critical sector of the American economy than most people realize.