U.S. Space Workforce

2010 – Official U.S. Workforce Statistics – Snapshot

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.

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2010 – NASA Geographical Distribution – Snapshot

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.

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2010 – NASA Demographics – Snapshot

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.

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2010 – U.S. National Security Workforce – Snapshot

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.”

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2010 – U.S. Space Industry Salaries – Snapshot

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.

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2010 – Trends and Events Affecting U.S. Employment – Snapshot

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.

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2009 – U.S. Space Workforce – Snapshot

More than a ## million people in the United States are employed in the space industry, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This level of employment has remained relatively stable throughout the first decade of the 21st century, never dropping below ##.

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2009 – U.S. National Security Workforce – Snapshot

Somewhat less transparent than U.S. private sector and civil space employment is the U.S. military space workforce. A number of nations besides the United States are developing military space capabilities, and the scope of military space theory has broadened in response to changing military doctrines, technological advances, and asymmetrical warfare.

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