Washington Update

New Analysis Documents Economic Impact of STEM Jobs

By: Jennifer Zeitzer
Thursday, March 9, 2023
A new report titled “People of Science” provides an inclusive overview of the growing U.S. STEM workforce and its impact on the U.S. economy. Based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the report highlights that the number of STEM jobs increased by three million between 2017 and 2021. According to the report, 67 million people were employed in STEM professions in 2021, representing 34.3 percent of the total workforce. The growth in STEM professions is expected to continue based on BLS predictions that STEM employment will increase by more than twice the rate of non-STEM employment by 2031. 

Other key data in the “People of Science” report emphasizes the economic contributions of STEM jobs including:
  • STEM-focused economic activity grew by more than two trillion between 2017 and 2021, totaling $9.45 trillion in 2021
  • STEM-focused economic activity accounted for 40.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2021
  • Individuals employed in STEM professions earned an average of nearly $92,000 compared to $65,000 for non-STEM professionals
In addition, the report provides factsheets highlighting how STEM contributes to the size and impact of the workforce in all 50 states. State-level data summarized on the factsheets include the number of STEM professions; percentage of the STEM workforce; federal, state, and local tax revenues; and the percentage of the state’s GDP attributable to STEM jobs. The largest percentage of the STEM workforce (in rank order) is located in the District of Columbia, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, and Wisconsin. 

“People of Science” was completed by FTI Consulting for Science is US, a nonprofit initiative that brings together a diverse group of science, engineering, industry, higher education, and labor organizations to galvanize a broad, bipartisan political base of support for science and technology. FASEB is a member of the Science is US Steering Committee. Additional information about the report can be found in the Executive Summary and accompanying press release.