Section 7. Geographic Patterns in the Employment of Federal Scientists and Engineers

In 1993 almost 1.8 million civilian white collar employees worked for the Federal Government. Less than one-fifth of the white collar employees worked in the Washington DC metropolitan statistical area; the remaining four-fifths held U.S. duty stations in the other 50 States or were employed in U.S. territories and foreign countries. The decision to open and close Federal facilities has a large impact on the economic growth and development of States and localities. This is especially true for Federal laboratories that employ large numbers of scientists and engineers. This section analyzes the geographic distribution of Federal scientists and engineers, examining the regional patterns that have emerged during the eighties and nineties and the concentration of Federal scientists and engineers in States.

The South Atlantic Region led the country in the number of Federal scientists and engineers; 36 percent of the Nation's federally employed scientists and engineers work in this region (mostly in Maryland and the District of Columbia, which accounted for 31.5 percent and 24.6 percent of the region's total, respectively)(table 12).

Table 12

The Pacific region was the second-largest region, with 16 percent of the total number of Federal scientists and engineers (almost 62.7 percent of the region's Federal scientists and engineers work in California). By contrast, New England was the smallest region, with 3.8 percent of the Federal S&E total. Massachusetts accounted for 44.2 percent of all Federal scientists and engineers in New England.

Employment growth varied by region during the late 1980s and early 1990s, ranging from a high of 12.8 percent for the Mountain region to a low of 1 percent for the Middle Atlantic region. Idaho and Colorado contributed heavily to the increasing employment growth in the Mountain States with growth levels of 29.8 and 17.7 percent, respectively. The substantial growth level of the South Atlantic States (8.4 percent) was fueled by significant growth in Federal S&E employment for West Virginia (19.4 percent), North Carolina (16.2 percent), and Maryland (8.7 percent). All other regions showed employment growth levels at or less than 7.5 percent. Despite the varying levels of regional employment growth, the regional rankings had minor changes during 1989-93. The Mountain States showed the most strength, surpassing the Middle Atlantic States and the East North Central States and becoming the third most populous Federal S&E region after the South Atlantic region and the Pacific region.

3. See table 12 for a listing of States within the regions indentified in this section.

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