It’s no secret that innovation drives America’s economy and that semiconductors, as the foundation of modern technology, have given rise to countless new industries and the jobs that come with them. A recent SIA analysis of government data shows the extent of the semiconductor industry’s tremendous impact on job creation and economic growth.
According to the analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. semiconductor industry now employs almost 250,000 workers directly and supports more than 1 million additional jobs throughout the broader U.S. economy. These supported jobs do not even include the millions of downstream electronics jobs in the U.S. that semiconductors enable. Instead, this figure only comprises the jobs created by the semiconductor industry in supplier sectors, as well as jobs created through re-spending effects of semiconductor workers.
Total direct U.S. semiconductor employment—estimated at 244,800—is significantly higher than employment in any other electronic component industry in the United States. And the semiconductor industry added jobs three times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy in 2011, the most recent year of available data. According to BLS, the semiconductor industry’s manufacturing workforce grew by 3.7 percent over the previous year, while jobs throughout the broader U.S. economy increased by 1.2 percent over the same time period.
Additionally, the BLS data show that the U.S. semiconductor industry has broadened its reach and now employs Americans in most states and regions of the country, from California and Texas to Florida, Massachusetts and New York, and most places in between. California leads all states with 47,100 direct semiconductor jobs, followed by Texas (28,800), Oregon (23,400), Arizona (18,800), Massachusetts (10,100), New York (7,600), Idaho (7,400), Florida (7,100), Vermont (5,100) and New Mexico (4,500).
Even more compelling is that each direct semiconductor industry job throughout the U.S. enables 4.89 jobs in other sectors of the economy, illustrating the industry’s tremendous ripple effect on the broader U.S. economy. The semiconductor industry’s employment multiplier figure is higher than that of the construction industry (1.90), the communications industry (2.52), and the automobile industry (4.64), among many others. The employment multiplier for the overall manufacturing sector is 2.91. For more detailed information and methodology, please view SIA’s Employment Issue Paper.
Taken together, the new data demonstrate that semiconductor employment is strong, broad-based, growing and highly impactful on the U.S. economy, but the industry’s greatest potential still lies ahead. Our leaders in Washington should enact policies that embrace innovation and allow the semiconductor industry to continue to broaden its workforce and expand its influence on U.S. job creation and economic growth.
SIA is working to encourage congress and the administration to take prompt action on policy initiatives—such as high-skilled immigration reform, corporate tax reform, and support for scientific research—that spur growth in manufacturing and technology industries. [See SIA’s 2013 Policy Roadmap]
With effective government policies like these that encourage growth and remove barriers to innovation, the semiconductor industry will continue to drive America’s economic strength, national security and global competitiveness.
Brian Toohey is president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry in Washington, D.C.
From the Silicon Valley (SV), the cuts in employment in the 2008-2009 period were never recovered. Those jobs went to Asia/India while younger/lowered paid immigrants from these regions were promoted into hiring manager roles - not a problem until you see that they only hired people from their respective countries.
Many CEO's received large bonuses for cutting costs/increasing profits while thousands of experienced SV professionals were forced into retirement or into remedial jobs, losing 80% of their former wages.
These same CEO's spend time/money lobbying for more immigration to support Semiconductor growth? The entire story lack credibility for employment and growth. Until you compare the employment numbers from 2007-2008, you are manipulating the numbers.
The Semiconductor chip is a commodity and given away/downgraded to foreign operations while the increase in value is at the system level and the software/hardware stack. Any increase in Semiconductor jobs have been through software, not hardware, not firmware, not processing.
"each direct semiconductor industry job throughout the U.S. enables 4.89 jobs in other sectors of the economy, illustrating the industry’s tremendous ripple effect on the broader U.S. economy."
Yet our idiot politicians kowtow to lobbyists and "stimulate" the economy with infrastructure jobs. You employ ten guys to build a bridge for six years, spend most of the funds on Chinese steel and Saudi oil (asphalt), and no product continues to generate jobs and tax revenues.
It's no wonder the US is in deep doo doo. With deferring corporate taxes on offshore revenues forever (about $3T in taxes is sitting offshore, untouchable to our treasury because of a TEMPORARY corporate stimulus, one with no expiry), sending jobs overseas, and spending on silly stuff liek drones over US airspace, it's no wonder the country is going to hell in a handbasket with 13M unemployed (yes, look at the U-6 number, not the U-3 the press and congress get all giddy about. The U-3 is the number of people collecting checks. Want lower unemployment? Shorten the number of weeks the unemployed can collect a check, then watch them starve).
Yes, and furthermore the article -- from Kiplinger, but mirrored on Yahoo Finance -- attributes the expected decline in U.S. semiconductor processing jobs not simply to overseas manufacturing but to automation. Quoting the article, "Semiconductor processors, who oversee the production of microchips, are being replaced by robots." I don't know the extent to which that is true, but even if it is partly true, employment in the semiconductor industry includes far more than just the fab workers.
The data you are referencing is for "Semiconductor Processor", which is more about the manufacturing of chips. As manufacturing has shifted more to Asia, the negative growth projection for this specific segment in America makes sense.
I believe this article is talking about the greater Semiconductor segment, which includes software and hardware designers (Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, etc.).
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.