New Shetland has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. The country continues to be one of the leading Pacific nations for attracting foreign direct investment. A moderate to highly mechanised agricultural sector employs 8% of the labour force. The port of Marbella is one of the prime Pacific ports, accessing both the mainland New Shetland and acting as a transit port for Nort America and Japan, among others. The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment.
New Shetland has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, fairly low unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a Pacific transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery.
In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 82.1% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 6.5% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 11.4%. Its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 70.4% of GDP. In August 2010, the New Shetlandian labor force comprised 5.6 million people. About 22% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe.