2016 – U.S. Space Industry Employment

In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, the U.S. civilian space sector included ## individuals. Employment is essentially unchanged from 2014, when ## individuals worked in this area. Longer-term trends, however, show…

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Geographical Distribution

NASA has many facilities and operations in many states, and NASA contractor jobs are high-skill, high-salary positions. When these jobs are lost, communities often have difficulty replacing them, and the employees encounter difficulty in finding similar positions in the local area. In order to keep the skilled technical workforce associated with the shuttle program from relocating elsewhere, many local communities affected by NASA layoffs have invested in job-transition assistance and worker retraining programs in alternative skill sets.

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U.S. Space Industry Outlook

In December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH provides employment projections for the decade from 2014 to 2024. Among the 329 occupational profiles are four particularly applicable to the space industry: Aerospace Engineers, Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians, Astronomers, and Atmospheric and Space Scientists.

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2015 – NASA Workforce – Snapshot

At the start of FY 2016, NASA’s workforce was made up of 17,316 individuals. This is a decrease of 415 employees, or 2.3%, compared to the start of FY 2015. Since reaching a high in FY 2011, NASA has shed 1,428 employees, 7.6% of its workforce.

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2015 – U.S. Space Workforce – Snapshot

The U.S. space workforce includes commercial, civil, and national security space workers. The commercial and civil workforce continued to decrease in size, with core industry employment dropping 3.2% from 2013 to 2014, a decrease of 7,234 workers.

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