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Science and Engineering Indicators 2004
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Chapter 8:
Secondary Education
Higher Education
Financial Research and Development Inputs
R&D Outputs
Science and Technology in the Economy



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Technical Note: Defining High-Technology Industries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) developed a list of high-technology industries based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes in 1999.[1] The list was based on measures of industry employment in both R&D and technology-oriented occupations, using Occupational Employment Statistics surveys from 1993 to 1995 in which employers were asked to explicitly report the number of workers engaged in R&D activity. The researchers identified 31 three-digit SIC R&D-intensive industries in which the number of R&D workers and technology-oriented occupations accounted for a proportion of employment that was at least twice the average for all industries surveyed. These industries had at least 6 R&D and 76 technology-oriented workers per 1,000 workers. The BLS list comprised 27 manufacturing and 4 service industries.

The Office of Technology Policy, with assistance from the Bureau of the Census, converted the BLS list of SIC codes into the newer North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes using the concordance between the two classification systems. The process necessitated both splitting and combining codes. The resulting list of hightechnology NAICS codes comprises 39 categories that range from four- to six-digit detail. Twenty-nine categories identify manufacturing industries, and 10 identify service industries. The industry categories included in the high-technology segment are shown in table 8-25.

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Table 8-25
High-technology NAICS codes
NAICS Code Industry
32411 Petroleum Refineries
3251 Basic Chemical Manufacturing
3252 Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial and Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing
3253 Pesticide, Fertilizer, and Other Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing
3254 Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
3255 Paint, Coating, and Adhesive Manufacturing
3256 Soap, Cleaning Compound, and Toilet Preparation Manufacturing
3259 Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing
332992 Ordnance & Accessories Manufacturing—Small Arms Ammunition Manufacturing
332993 Ordnance & Accessories Manufacturing—Ammunition (except Small Arms) Manufacturing
332994 Ordnance & Accessories Manufacturing—Small Arms Manufacturing
332995 Ordnance & Accessories Manufacturing—Other Ordnance and Accessories Manufacturing
3331 Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing
3332 Industrial Machinery Manufacturing
3333 Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing
3336 Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing
3339 Other General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing
3341 Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing
3342 Communications Equipment Manufacturing
3343 Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing
3344 Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing
3345 Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing
3346 Manufacturing and Reproducing Magnetic and Optical Media
3353 Electrical Equipment Manufacturing
33599 All Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing
3361 Motor Vehicle Manufacturing
3362 Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing
3363 Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing
3364 Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
3391 Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing
5112 Software Publishers
514191 On-Line Information Services
5142 Data Processing Services
5413 Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
5415 Computer Systems Design and Related Services
5416 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
5417 Scientific Research and Development Services
6117 Educational Support Services
811212 Computer and Office Machine Repair and Maintenance
NAICS   North American Industrial Classification System


[1]  Hecker, D. 1999. High-technology employment: A broader view. Monthly Labor Review 122(6):18.

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