Working patterns of S&E labour force in US: PRB

Working patterns of S&E labour force in US: PRB

Washington: A new database released by the Population Reference Bureau reveals geographic differences in the characteristics of people working in the science and engineering (S&E) labour force in the United States.

The data, from the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey, highlights state differences in earnings, education, and the participation of minorities, women, and foreign-born workers in the high-tech economy.

Key findings

* Nationwide, there were 7.4 million scientists and engineers in US in 2005, representing 5% of the total labour force

* In 2005, states with the highest proportion of scientists and engineers were Maryland (8%), Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington (7% each)

* Median annual earnings for people in S&E occupations was $59,000 compared with $28,000 for people in all occupations nationwide

* Maryland and New Jersey had the highest median S&E earnings, at $70,000 each

* In New Jersey, nearly three-fourths of the S&E workforce had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2005, and median earnings in that state were $25,000 higher than those of Mississippi, where only 50% of S&E labour force held at least a bachelor’s degree

* In 2005, racial and ethnic minorities accounted for about one-fourth (26%) of the US’s S&E labour force

* Georgia and Maryland both had relatively high proportions of African Americans in S&E jobs

*New Mexico had the highest proportion of S&E jobs filled by Latinos and Asians accounted for 29% of S&E labour force in California

* In some states, foreign-born population also makes up a sizeable and growing share of S&E workforce

* In California and New Jersey, more than a third of S&E labour force was foreign-born in 2005

* Nationwide, only one-fourth of S&E jobs are held by women

*In 2005, women made up more than half of all social scientists, but female shares of IT workers (26%) and engineers (13%) were much lower

*Women are still underrepresented in the highest-paying positions, especially in natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering