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ERIC Number: ED594354
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar-30
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
STEM Jobs: 2017 Update. ESA Issue Brief #02-17
Noonan, Ryan
US Department of Commerce
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers help drive our nation's innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas and new companies. For example, workers who study or are employed in these fields are more likely to apply for, receive, and commercialize patents. STEM knowledge also has other benefits; while often very specialized, it can be transferred to a wide variety of careers, particularly management occupations, while increased technology in the workplace means that, to handle non-repetitive tasks, workers need the critical thinking and technical skills that come with STEM training. This report, the first in a series of upcoming reports from OCE on the STEM economy, is an update of findings from our previous report, "STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future." Future reports will update previous research by this office on sex, race, and ethnicity in STEM jobs, as well as present new findings about the geography of STEM jobs and the skills needed to participate in this vital sector of the economy. Key findings for this update, which are consistent with previous research, including research done by the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) are that: (1) In 2015, there were 9.0 million STEM workers in the United States. About 6.1 percent of all workers are in STEM occupations, up from 5.5 percent just five years earlier; (2) Employment in STEM occupations grew much faster than employment in non-STEM occupations over the last decade (24.4 percent versus 4.0 percent, respectively), and STEM occupations are projected to grow by 8.9 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared to 6.4 percent growth for non-STEM occupations; (3) STEM workers command higher wages, earning 29 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts in 2015. This pay premium has increased since our previous report, which found a STEM wage advantage of 26 percent in 2010; (4) Nearly three-quarters of STEM workers have at least a college degree, compared to just over one-third of non-STEM workers; and (5) STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations. A STEM degree holder can expect an earnings premium of 12 percent over non-STEM degree holders, holding all other factors constant. [To view the previous report, "STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future," see ED522129.]
US Department of Commerce. 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230. Tel: 202-482-2000; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economics and Statistics Administration (DOC), Office of the Chief Economist (OCE)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A