Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Covering trends and numbers in high-tech industry employment

June 28, 2016

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According to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high-tech industries account for nearly 12 percent of total employment and contribute almost 23 percent of the “output” (goods produced) within the U.S. High-tech industries include any fields with a high concentration of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations.

The report shows different trends happening in the high-tech sector. Since 1994, the high-tech services’ share of the total high-tech employment has increased, while high-tech manufacturing has decreased. Experts project this trend to continue, providing reporting opps for business reporters at the local level. Through your reporting, reveal the following:

  • How many service jobs do your local high-tech companies have?
  • Has this number changed in recent years?
  • Has this trend affected the local economy or attracted new high-tech companies? 

Another trend in the report shows that high-tech industry output is rising while high-tech employment is staying the same. Dig into this phenomenon and use state-specific data to find out:

  • What is causing this trend?
  • Is this trend similar in your area?
  • The overall high-tech employment has stayed stable as a total share of employment. Does this national trend reflect in your state or local area?

The report pulled data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey and the Current Population Survey to identify high-tech industry job shares held by STEM workers. State-specific employment industry data is available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, giving you a way to look into the job shares in your state. How do they compare to the national numbers?

To find more in-depth stories, identify the high-tech employers in your area. How do these companies affect the high-tech job landscape in your city or region? What contribution do they make? Are any high-tech companies considering moving to, expanding in or leaving your area?

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