Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Manufacturing firms employ over 60% of R&D scientists and engineers in industry.

Also in this week's C&EN, an interesting short summary by Michael McCoy of a recent NBER paper:
Companies need scientists for R&D, of course, but a new study finds that U.S. manufacturing companies seeking high productivity and earnings should consider hiring scientists for jobs other than R&D as well.
The paper (by Barth et al.) included this fascinating set of statistics about industrial employment of scientists:
We focus on manufacturing for three reasons. First, manufacturing is a lead sector in productivity growth. Between 1990 and 2016 the average annual rate of labor productivity increased at 3.5% per year in manufacturing compared to 2.0% in the entire economy. Second, industrial R&D and employment of scientists and engineers is disproportionately concentrated in manufacturing. While manufacturing establishments employ 10% of the work force in industry, they employ 20% of scientists and engineers in industry, and manufacturing firms employ over 60% of R&D scientists and engineers in industry.
Curious to know the trend in employment over the last 26 years, and if the R&D intensity of those manufacturing firms has gone up or down. 

1 comment:

  1. There's a huge employment multiplier in manufacturing that we've chosen to abandon for the past three decades. One wonders what the employment situation for scientists and engineers would be like today had free trade relating to manufactured goods been viewed more skeptically and strategically.