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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Workforce

Life and physical scientists as a percentage of the workforce



Findings

  • About 629,000 individuals (0.45% of the workforce) were employed as life and physical scientists in the United States in 2010, an increase from the 549,000 life and physical scientists employed in 2004, which represented 0.40% of the workforce.
  • In 2010, individual states had indicator values ranging from 0.25% to 1.18%, which showed major differences in the concentration of jobs in the life and physical sciences.
  • States with the highest concentrations of life and physical scientists in their workforces were fairly evenly distributed throughout the United States.


Description

This indicator represents the percentage of life and physical scientists in a state's workforce. Life scientists are identified from standard occupational codes that include agricultural and food scientists, biological scientists, conservation scientists and foresters, and medical scientists. Physical scientists are identified from standard occupational codes that include astronomers, physicists, atmospheric and space scientists, chemists, materials scientists, environmental scientists, and geoscientists. A high share of life and physical scientists in a state's workforce could indicate several scenarios, ranging from a robust cluster of life sciences companies to the presence of forests or national parks, which require foresters, wildlife specialists, and conservationists to manage the natural assets in these areas.

Data on individuals in S&E occupations come from a survey of workplaces that assigns workers to a state based on where they work. Estimates do not include self-employed persons and are developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from data provided by state workforce agencies. Data on the size of the workforce are BLS estimates and represent the employed component of the civilian labor force. In these estimates, workers are assigned to a state based on where they live.

Situations in which workers live in one state and work in another introduce some imprecision into the calculation of this indicator. The treatment of postsecondary teachers is another source of imprecision. Due to the way data are collected, faculty teaching in S&E fields are not counted as working in S&E occupations. Estimates for states with smaller populations are generally less precise than estimates for states with larger populations.

Data Table

Table 8-36
Life and physical scientists as a percentage of the workforce, by state: 2004, 2007, and 2010
 
  Life and physical scientists   Employed workforce   Life and physical scientists in workforce (%)
State 2004 2007 2010   2004 2007 2010   2004 2007 2010
 
United States 548,860 602,360 629,280   138,762,591 145,156,139 138,893,366   0.40 0.41 0.45
Alabama 5,650 7,240 6,200   2,007,153 2,108,873 1,925,064   0.28 0.34 0.32
Alaska 3,100 3,550 3,930   314,753 329,431 332,403   0.98 1.08 1.18
Arizona 7,040 7,300 8,950   2,650,277 2,903,992 2,859,967   0.27 0.25 0.31
Arkansas 3,250 3,680 3,760   1,221,553 1,293,947 1,246,647   0.27 0.28 0.30
California 69,820 78,130 95,730   16,354,779 16,970,228 15,916,288   0.43 0.46 0.60
Colorado 11,030 14,800 15,290   2,392,952 2,598,433 2,447,712   0.46 0.57 0.62
Connecticut 8,610 7,330 8,060   1,703,865 1,761,588 1,724,024   0.51 0.42 0.47
Delaware 3,030 3,110 3,650   408,266 425,289 389,583   0.74 0.73 0.94
District of Columbia 5,980 6,290 5,100   288,397 310,652 300,663   2.07 2.02 1.70
Florida 21,620 21,920 NA   7,998,202 8,704,110 8,159,147   0.27 0.25 NA
Georgia 10,960 8,860 10,520   4,249,007 4,561,967 4,213,719   0.26 0.19 0.25
Hawaii 3,060 3,810 3,620   598,175 617,891 587,407   0.51 0.62 0.62
Idaho 3,980 3,500 3,740   666,080 731,362 687,321   0.60 0.48 0.54
Illinois 19,440 20,540 19,950   5,968,561 6,323,515 5,964,868   0.33 0.32 0.33
Indiana 9,820 10,990 10,880   2,997,800 3,081,177 2,822,693   0.33 0.36 0.39
Iowa 4,010 5,660 5,570   1,534,991 1,601,547 1,568,012   0.26 0.35 0.36
Kansas 4,280 4,900 5,780   1,381,343 1,415,942 1,396,558   0.31 0.35 0.41
Kentucky 4,740 5,350 5,550   1,854,703 1,915,131 1,865,961   0.26 0.28 0.30
Louisiana 6,410 NA 5,720   1,928,464 1,941,642 1,926,492   0.33 NA 0.30
Maine 2,400 2,750 2,830   653,847 666,305 641,978   0.37 0.41 0.44
Maryland 21,040 21,270 22,190   2,761,583 2,909,290 2,758,219   0.76 0.73 0.80
Massachusetts 20,300 24,030 27,470   3,203,810 3,280,932 3,197,210   0.63 0.73 0.86
Michigan 13,140 NA 12,030   4,686,953 4,680,780 4,192,819   0.28 NA 0.29
Minnesota 11,980 13,550 14,670   2,752,403 2,775,587 2,746,492   0.44 0.49 0.53
Mississippi 4,040 4,460 4,480   1,232,139 1,210,732 1,176,340   0.33 0.37 0.38
Missouri 10,210 10,960 9,560   2,815,878 2,899,695 2,725,527   0.36 0.38 0.35
Montana 3,050 NA 3,920   456,385 485,132 461,337   0.67 NA 0.85
Nebraska 4,170 3,550 3,740   938,105 953,057 931,414   0.44 0.37 0.40
Nevada 3,120 3,490 3,690   1,128,223 1,247,491 1,149,537   0.28 0.28 0.32
New Hampshire 1,880 3,170 2,650   687,855 715,310 698,859   0.27 0.44 0.38
New Jersey 22,420 21,820 24,040   4,144,223 4,265,294 4,076,713   0.54 0.51 0.59
New Mexico 2,040 NA 6,450   849,970 901,704 873,112   0.24 NA 0.74
New York 30,060 30,850 29,560   8,816,013 9,112,899 8,806,778   0.34 0.34 0.34
North Carolina 16,990 19,670 24,300   4,031,081 4,321,339 4,036,343   0.42 0.46 0.60
North Dakota 1,520 1,720 1,620   339,541 353,214 355,615   0.45 0.49 0.46
Ohio 15,310 18,430 17,940   5,502,533 5,626,086 5,303,019   0.28 0.33 0.34
Oklahoma 6,550 6,710 5,540   1,605,641 1,665,819 1,630,925   0.41 0.40 0.34
Oregon 8,090 8,530 9,380   1,714,447 1,822,010 1,769,599   0.47 0.47 0.53
Pennsylvania 25,030 26,980 NA   5,859,561 6,054,254 5,791,061   0.43 0.45 NA
Rhode Island 2,810 2,220 NA   526,046 545,252 509,073   0.53 0.41 NA
South Carolina 5,780 5,180 5,290   1,888,050 2,000,185 1,922,815   0.31 0.26 0.28
South Dakota 1,800 NA 2,300   411,708 428,850 422,562   0.44 NA 0.54
Tennessee 6,920 8,180 6,830   2,746,241 2,874,173 2,759,243   0.25 0.28 0.25
Texas 50,940 52,630 48,850   10,385,318 10,925,311 11,141,903   0.49 0.48 0.44
Utah 5,630 6,500 5,300   1,179,142 1,319,933 1,262,083   0.48 0.49 0.42
Vermont 1,370 1,720 1,470   334,188 341,588 338,295   0.41 0.50 0.43
Virginia 13,200 14,510 15,990   3,715,272 3,926,052 3,896,167   0.36 0.37 0.41
Washington 18,490 NA 22,020   2,999,526 3,235,735 3,192,117   0.62 NA 0.69
West Virginia 3,170 3,010 2,780   746,854 780,869 711,068   0.42 0.39 0.39
Wisconsin 11,970 14,590 12,990   2,868,376 2,951,001 2,807,301   0.42 0.49 0.46
Wyoming 1,960 2,260 2,100   262,358 283,543 273,313   0.75 0.80 0.77
                       
Puerto Rico 4,790 NA 4,210   1,226,251 1,241,426 1,088,762   0.39 NA 0.39
 

NA = not available

NOTES: Workforce represents employed component of civilian labor force and reported as annual data not seasonally adjusted. National totals for life and physical scientists in the United States provided by Occupational Employment Statistics and include states with suppressed data.

SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012

Source Data

State Data Tool

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