Merchant Mariners

The employment outlook for merchant marine personnel is not very good, mainly because of foreign competition and changes in federal policy. Cargo rates and wages paid to U.S. merchant mariners are the highest in the world, but this keeps the industry small because shippers can send goods on cheaper foreign vessels. However, new international regulations have raised shipping standards with respect to safety, training, and working conditions, so there is expected to be less competition from foreign vessels that will have to pay higher insurance rates for ships that do not meet the standards.

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