Chapter 8: State Indicators


Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Life and physical scientists as share of workforce: 2003

Life and physical scientists as share of workforce: 2003

Life and Physical Scientists as Share of Workforce: 2003.


Life and physical scientists as share of workforce: 2003*

1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
3rd Quartile
4th Quartile
Alaska California Alabama Arizona
Colorado Minnesota Connecticut Arkansas
Delaware Nebraska Georgia Florida
District of Columbia New Mexico Hawaii Indiana
Idaho New York Illinois Iowa
Maryland North Dakota Kansas Kentucky
Massachusetts Oregon Louisiana Michigan
Montana South Dakota Maine Nevada
New Jersey Texas Mississippi New Hampshire
North Carolina Virginia Missouri Oklahoma
Pennsylvania West Virginia Ohio South Carolina
Utah Wisconsin Rhode Island Vermont
Washington Tennessee
*States in alphabetical order, not data order.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates; and Local Area Unemployment Statistics. See table 8-24.

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  • Nearly 500,000 individuals, or 0.36% of the workforce, were employed as life and physical scientists in the United States in 2003.

  • In 2003, individual states had indicator values ranging from 0.14% to 0.92%, which showed major differences in the concentration of jobs in the life and physical sciences.

  • The District of Columbia was an outlier at 1.88%, reflecting the number of individuals who work there but live in neighboring states.

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This indicator shows a state’s ability to attract and retain life and physical scientists. Life scientists are identified from nine standard occupational codes that include agricultural and food scientists, biological scientists, conservation scientists and foresters, and medical scientists. Physical scientists are identified from 16 standard occupational codes that include astronomers, physicists, atmospheric and space scientists, chemists, materials scientists, environmental scientists, geoscientists, and postsecondary teachers in these subject areas. A high share of life and physical scientists could indicate several scenarios ranging from a robust cluster of life science companies to a high percentage of acreage in forests or national parks. The latter requires foresters, wildlife specialists, and conservationists to manage the natural assets in an area with low population density.

The location of life and physical scientists reflects where the individuals work and is based on estimates from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, a cooperative program between the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and state employment security agencies. The size of a state’s civilian workforce is estimated from the BLS Current Population Survey, which assigns workers to a location based on residence. Because of this difference and the sample-based nature of the data, estimates for sparsely populated states and the District of Columbia may be imprecise.

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National Science Board.