To gauge how U.S. elementary and middle school students compare with other students in math and science, the results of a test administered by the U.S. Department of Education, known as Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) provide a standardized global measure. The most recent test was administered in 2007.
Starting at the 4th grade level, only 39% of students tested proficient or higher in mathematics in 2007, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. . .
“Many young people today with a technical bent are more entranced with the Internet or biotechnology than space exploration. Space travel, after all, was a fascination of their parents’ generation,” noted a February 2003 Wall Street Journal article on recruiting challenges confronting NASA.
The Space Report 2009 identifies nine occupations particularly relevant to the U.S. space industry. They are shown in Exhibit 4i. These ## occupations not only comprise a diversified set of skills required to create a foundation for space activity, they also reflect the need to build space-related human capital through postsecondary education.
As Exhibit 4e shows, the combined average annual salary across the six core U.S. space industry sectors analyzed was $## in 2007, nearly double the average salary of U.S. professionals in the average private sector overall. For the first time on record, professionals in the federal space research and space vehicle manufacturing sectors earned an average salary above six figures, more than $##, or 2.3 times that of the average U.S. private sector worker.
Employment in every sector of the U.S. space industry analyzed in The Space Report 2009 grew between 2003 and 2007 with the exception of satellite telecommunications. The end of the telecom bubble in 2000 and 2001 prompted restructuring within the satellite telecommunications industry, including consolidation among operators.
The estimate of U.S. space industry core employment calculated in The Space Report 2009 is derived from the total of the most recent workforce numbers from the ## North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes in Exhibit 4b, below. As Exhibit 4c shows, ## Americans worked in the space industry in 2007.
The impact of the 2008 credit crisis on space industry employment levels cannot yet be measured with the statistics available. Through 2007, whether U.S. space employment and earnings potential is measured by the six core space industry segments or by the nine key space-related occupations profiled here, it is clear that U.S. space professionals enjoy high salaries and real wage growth.
The Space Report 2009 builds on the baseline U.S. space employment analysis introduced in 2008. Drawing upon the most recent data, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2007, the report surveys employment and salary numbers for the six space-related industry sectors described in Exhibit 4b.
Investment in space creates measurable benefits that flow across a wide spectrum of economic activity. The greatest investment that the space industry can make is in its people. The global space economy creates high-paying jobs and also stimulates demand for products and services in industries not directly linked to space.