U.S. Space Workforce
These statistics quantify the thousands of jobs nationwide that are supported by the U.S. space industry. Clearly, a strong space industry is beneficial to national, state, and local economies when measured by such objective indicators as employment and wages.
There were ## individual establishments, or workplaces, engaged in space activities located throughout the United States in 2006. In fact, the number of space industry establishments nationwide has been increasing every year since 2003, rising by ##% during that period.
Along with growing space industry employment, the U.S. space industry workforce is well compensated. In 2006, the U.S. space industry paid an annual average wage of $## to its workers. This was more than double the private sector average wage of $## in 2006.
Space industry core employment totaled ## jobs in 2006, a substantial increase of nearly ## space industry jobs from 2003. That increase of nearly ##% in just three years outpaced the ##% increase from 2003 to 2006 in overall U.S. private sector employment.
The space industry sectors covered in this analysis are based on the U.S. government’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. For purposes of employment statistics, the space industry is comprised of companies that manufacture such products as radar systems, guided missiles and space vehicles, and space vehicle propulsion units, along with businesses that provide satellite telecommunications services.
The U.S. space industry draws on the expertise of more than a quarter of a million Americans across the country who directly contribute to the economic health of the national economy, many state economies, and local communities.
The Space Report 2009 identifies nine occupations particularly relevant to the U.S. space industry. They are shown in Exhibit 4i. These ## occupations not only comprise a diversified set of skills required to create a foundation for space activity, they also reflect the need to build space-related human capital through postsecondary education.
As Exhibit 4e shows, the combined average annual salary across the six core U.S. space industry sectors analyzed was $## in 2007, nearly double the average salary of U.S. professionals in the average private sector overall. For the first time on record, professionals in the federal space research and space vehicle manufacturing sectors earned an average salary above six figures, more than $##, or 2.3 times that of the average U.S. private sector worker.
Employment in every sector of the U.S. space industry analyzed in The Space Report 2009 grew between 2003 and 2007 with the exception of satellite telecommunications. The end of the telecom bubble in 2000 and 2001 prompted restructuring within the satellite telecommunications industry, including consolidation among operators.
The estimate of U.S. space industry core employment calculated in The Space Report 2009 is derived from the total of the most recent workforce numbers from the ## North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes in Exhibit 4b, below. As Exhibit 4c shows, ## Americans worked in the space industry in 2007.