Where have all the high-tech U.S. jobs gone? The National Science Board finds that they are rapidly leaving the country.
Worrying news from the National Science Board (NSB)
The National Science Board (NSB), which is part of the U.S. government's National Science Foundation, has issued an alarming new report:
The United States has lost 28 percent of its high-technology manufacturing jobs over the last decade, and is losing its lead in science and technology in the global marketplace.
The NSB says that one of the most dramatic signs of this trend is the loss of 687,000 high-technology manufacturing jobs since 2000. While these jobs were being lost, U.S. multinational corporations were also creating research and development (R&D) jobs overseas at an unprecedented rate.
As these high-tech jobs have grown overseas, China has become the world's leader in high-technology trade. And, for the first time, Asia has matched the U.S. in R&D investments.
On a conference call to unveil the report, Rolf Lehming, Director of Science and Engineering Indicators Program, NCSES, highlighted some dramatic findings:
- Since the late 1990's, the U.S. has been running high-tech trade deficits of roughly $100 billion per year. At the same time, China is running surpluses.
- There has been a "substantial shift" in high-tech manufacturing, which is both essential to research-intensive industries, and drives innovation and competitiveness.
- In China, engineering degrees are being earned at a rate seven times higher than in the U.S. China is "building up technical skills in its workforce."
- There is a rapidly changing trade picture, with new supplier lines. China has become the main high-tech exporter to the EU and U.S.
The report is "policy-neutral" and does not offer any specific commentary on why the U.S. has reached such a precarious position or what can be done to reverse this decline. The NSB will offer a "companion report" in a few months, however, that looks at the implications of this lost innovation.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has long been concerned
about America's diminishing global competitiveness and the loss of skilled, high-tech manufacturing jobs. What's needed is a concerted effort to ramp up the nation's manufacturing sector.
Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), commented on the new report:
“We hope the NSB report will be read by every member of Congress, every candidate on the campaign trail, and every relevant policy maker in the administration. The report sheds new light on the challenge of maintaining a high-technology edge when we outsource so much production and research overseas.
“If we want to invent cutting-edge technologies—and make these products here—we must dramatically change course. We’ve outlined concrete steps that Congress and the administration can take to ensure that we maintain our manufacturing and technological edge in the decades to come.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT A NATIONAL MANUFACTURING STRATEGY: AAM has proposed a comprehensive plan to address much-needed revisions for America's tax, trade, infrastructure, and educational policies that can help to restore industrial competitiveness.
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