U.S. research & development (R&D) companies employed 27.1 million workers worldwide in 2008, including 18.5 million domestically, according to a new report from the U.S. National Science Foundation. The Business R&D and Innovation Survey, developed jointly with the U.S. Census Bureau, found that employees who perform or directly support R&D activities accounted for 1.9 million jobs, or 7.1 percent of the workforce. Moreover, 77 percent of the R&D employees, or 1.5 million, worked in the United States.
The data is important because it will help show how R&D activities directly influence the creation and diffusion of knowledge, and thus impact innovation and economic growth.
The preliminary employment data also shows that R&D accounted for 31 percent of employment in scientific R&D services; 27 percent of employment associated with communications equipment; and 25 percent of employment associated with computer systems design and related services. The final data will be available in early 2011, and will further break down R&D employment by selected occupational category, level of educational attainment, and sex. The survey will also provide the number of non-U.S. citizens working as R&D scientists and engineers in the United States with temporary visas.
From National Science Foundation
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