According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), employment in water transportation occupations is expected to grow faster than the average of all occupations through 2022. Job growth will stem from increases in tourism and offshore oil and gas production growth. Employment in deep-sea shipping should stabilize after several years of decline. This is due in part to new international regulations for higher standards of safety, training, and working conditions. The regulations should lessen competition from ships that sail under foreign flags of convenience (FOCs). FOCs will have to pay higher insurance rates if they do not comply with the new standards. However, insurance rates for ships under industrialized countries' flags, including that of the United States, should become less expensive, increasing the amount of international cargo carried by U.S. ships. Employment on passenger cruise ships within U.S. waters is also expected to increase due to laws requiring that vessels operating between U.S. ports be U.S.-flagged.

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