687,000 U.S. High-Tech Jobs Lost in a Decade

A new study released by the National Science Board (NSB) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) raises concerns about the global leadership of the U.S. in Science and Technology investments. The report also highlights massive job losses in high-tech.

According to the NSB, the U.S. lost about 687,000 jobs in high-tech since their peak of about 2.5 million in 2000. The organization stated that there have been “permanent” losses in an ongoing trend that affects the areas of aerospace, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment, computer and office equipment as well as scientific instruments.

The NSB carefully criticized the government’s approach of funding science and research by stating that there is still a $7 billion budget for the NSF, but the U.S. is quickly dropping in the global view of investment dollars. Between 1999 and 2009, the U.S. share dropped from 38 percent to 31 percent, while Asia gained from 24 to 35 percent during the same time. Especially China is growing fast, the NSB said, and is now the largest science and technology investor behind the U.S.

“Over the last decade, the world has changed dramatically,” said José-Marie Griffiths, chair of the NSB committee that oversees production of the report. “It’s now a world with very different actors who have made advancement in science and technology a top priority. And many of the troubling trends we’re seeing are now very well established.” The NSF said that it has launched a number of new initiatives designed to better position the United States “by enhancing international collaborations, improving education and establishing new partnerships between NSF-supported researchers and those in industry.”