he number of European space workers counted has expanded by 20% over five years, from 28,584 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at the end of 2005 to 34,334 FTE employees in 2010. While some of the changes in European space workforce by sector reflected in Exhibit 4l are attributable to Eurospace methodology changes, they also underscore the shifting composition of the European space workforce.
As an indicator of U.S. space industry employment, the Space Foundation surveyed the ## U.S. companies (including two joint ventures between Boeing and Lockheed Martin) with space-related sales greater than $## billion in 2010 as reported by Space News. Of these companies, ## provided workforce data as of the end of 2011. As shown in Exhibit 4b, these 14 companies together employed ## space workers.
According to data from the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC), Japan’s space employment dropped precipitously between 2007 and 2008, but then rebounded even more sharply from 2008 to 2009, as shown in Exhibit 4l. The SJAC calculated a ##% decline in industry employment, from ## in 2007 to ## in 2008—the largest year-on-year decline since 1996, with more than ## positions eliminated.
Despite the recession and financial crisis, the European space workforce has continued to add jobs. According to data collected by Eurospace, the nonprofit European space industry association, 31,369 full time equivalent (FTE) employees worked in the European space sector in 2009. This marked a net increase of 1,068 FTEs, or 3%, between 2008 and 2009.
Another issue facing the U.S. space industry is the demographic challenge associated with the retirement of veteran space employees and the entry of a new workforce. As shown in the exhibit NASA Civil Servant Workforce Age Profiles Over Time, the NASA workforce is concentrated in an age band from 45 to 54 years of age.
At Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, the contractor workforce is anticipated to be reduced from ## in 2009 to approximately ## by the time the shuttle ceases operations. Impacts of this job loss are expected to significantly affect the local economy beyond space industry unemployment alone. The workforce development agency in Brevard County, where KSC is located, estimates that up to ## jobs in total will be lost in the county as a result of the NASA contractor downsizing.
Since 2004, NASA has been planning for the retirement of the Space Shuttle, scheduled to fly its last mission in 2011. The shuttle was to be replaced by the Constellation Program, which would have had both a smaller budget and workforce. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, approximately ## civil servants and ## contractors were employed nationwide by either the Shuttle or Constellation Program.
The U.S. private-sector and civil space workforce is complemented by a group of military space professionals maintained by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The development of a dedicated DoD “space cadre” stemmed in part from a 2001 report by the Space Commission of the U.S. National Security Space Office (NSSO) noting that the DoD was “not yet on course to develop the space cadre the nation needs.”
In 2009, the average salary across the six core U.S. space industry sectors was $##. This was more than double the average private-sector salary of $##. The gap between space and general private-sector wages is even more pronounced within certain industry sectors. In 2009, professionals in two of the six space sectors analyzed earned an average salary in excess of six figures.
Though the U.S. workforce has remained robust over the past decade, the future of the space industry in the United States deserves careful analysis and consideration. The workforce is likely to be affected by the retirement of the Space Shuttle and recent changes in NASA’s human spaceflight program.