Thursday, July 14, 2016

The high-tech industry, what is it and why it matters to our economic future

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

High-tech industries are an important part of the U.S. economy, employing nearly 17 million workers in 2014. While this accounted for about 12 percent of total employment, the high-tech sector contributed almost 23 percent of output. According to a study funded by the Workforce Information Council, the high-tech sector can be defined as industries having high concentrations of workers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations. Although the term high-tech has been notoriously difficult to define, as technology changes all the time, this analysis provides an approach to defining jobs that are in in this sector.

This issue of Beyond the Numbers applies the approach used by WIC to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on industry employment and output. It provides an overview of which industries make up the high-tech sector and analyzes historical and projected industry employment and output data from the BLS Employment Projections program. This article offers insights on the performance and composition of the high-tech sector and its significance to the U.S. economy.

Identifying high-tech industries
Although the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), the government’s official industry classification, does not define high-tech industries, the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system defines certain occupations as STEM occupations.

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