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Recognizing the U.S. Semiconductor Workforce this Labor Day

Posted by Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics and Economic Policy on Sep 2, 2016 10:00:00 AM

What better time than right before Labor Day to learn more about the U.S. semiconductor workforce, which is the backbone of an incredibly successful industry that manfactures the stuff upon which the entire digital economy rests? So before firing up the BBQ or heading out on your long weekend trip, let’s take a moment to discover more about workers in America’s most innovative industry.

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The U.S. semiconductor industry employs nearly a quarter of a million people in the United States. And while the iconic image of the semiconductor employee is someone dressed in a clean-room suit (aka bunny suit) working in a fab, the truth is semiconductor industry workers are a diverse bunch, from electrical engineers who design semiconductors to logistics experts who keep the complex industry supply chain humming.

Additionally, the U.S. semiconductor industry supports over a million additional workers in the U.S. In fact, for every semiconductor industry job in the United States, 4.89 additional jobs are created throughout the economy. This ratio is called the industry employment multiplier, and it is high for the semiconductor industry compared to other industries. This is because many upstream industry workers are needed to provide resources and materials to the semiconductor industry, and industry workers create additional downstream jobs through spending.

U.S. semiconductor workers are highly skilled. Consequently, average annual pay rates for them are over twice as high as average annual pay rates for all workers in the United States. Employees in the semiconductor industry tend to be highly educated with a high percentage holding advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering. This translates into high wages for industry employees. Moreover, pay rates for U.S. semiconductor industry workers have more than doubled since 2001.

Finally, U.S. semiconductor industry workers are highly productive. In fact, semiconductor industry labor productivity has more than doubled since 1995, which is pretty amazing. In 2015, the average sales revenue per employee for the U.S. semiconductor industry was over $474,000 – an all-time high.

The bottom line is the U.S. semiconductor workforce is highly skilled, highly productive, supportive of many jobs in other industries. Most importantly, those in the semiconductor industry work to improve our lives, strengthen our country, and build our future. So on this Labor Day, here’s to U.S. semiconductor industry people and all they do!     


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Topics: data, employment