U.S. Space Workforce
U.S. Space Industry Employment
Each quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes data on employment and salaries within U.S. establishments as reported by employers. This census includes ##% of U.S. jobs, making it the most comprehensive data set available for understanding trends in U.S. economy. The structure used to collect and provide this information is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
Understanding the current size and historical shifts in the U.S. space workforce is a complex task. Occasionally, organizations will conduct reviews of the space workforce, providing a snapshot of the industry at one point in time. For example, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Space Industry Deep Dive Assessment, released in 2013, estimated that in 2012 there were nearly ## full time employees involved with current U.S. government space programs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for many space-relevant occupations will grow from 2010 to 2020. Though encouraging, this does not necessarily translate to predicted growth within the space industry, as individuals in these occupations work in a wide variety of industries.
Analysis of trends in the individual industry classifications making up the total U.S. space workforce shows decreases across all sectors over the past year, though losses were not evenly distributed. The greatest percentage decline from 2011 to 2012, ##%, occurred in Other Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Parts, representing a loss of approximately ## jobs.
The U.S. BLS Employment Projections program develops information about the U.S. labor market 10 years in the future. The most recent projections provide estimates of growth in specific occupations from 2010 to 2020. The occupational titles used by BLS for employment projections are not the same as the NAICS codes used by BLS in its Quarterly Census of Wages and Employment, discussed above.
Trends among the six sectors examined have remained fairly consistent over time, with the Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing and Federal Space Research and Technology categories increasing over periods of 1, 5, and 10 years.
There are hundreds of space companies distributed throughout the United States, including small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and large organizations with thousands of individuals. A sample of these companies is provided in Exhibit 4c.