NASA Civil Servant Workforce
The global space industry employs hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled individuals to design, produce, and operate cutting-edge technology. This workforce, in turn, contributes to thriving local economies, with clusters of innovative companies and service support industries. Understanding trends . . .
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.
Although NASA’s workforce remained relatively stable, layoffs related to the Space Shuttle program continued. It is estimated that more than ## individuals associated with the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida lost their jobs after the last shuttle launched in July 2011, and layoffs continued into 2012.
As of July 2011, the number of employees associated with the shuttle program nationwide had dropped to approximately ## contractors and ## civil servants for a total of ## employees, compared to a high of ## during the 1990s. NASA workforce planners estimate that the number of shuttle contractors will be reduced to ## by the close of FY 2012, and from there to ## contractors during FY 2013.
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.