Labor Day by the Numbers: Life Sciences & STEM Edition

As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day this weekend,
 browse some fast facts about the nation's
 life science workforce,

Did you know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) job opportunities in the United States are expected to grow 17 percent by 2018? Or that 39 percent of hiring managers believe science and clinical workers are in short supply?

The annual celebration of workers’ contributions and achievements in the U.S. is right around the corner. As we welcome Labor Day and say farewell to summer – hopefully enjoying the long holiday weekend free of work duties – peruse some interesting facts and figures pertaining to the many hardworking professionals in the life science industry and the STEM fields.

Employment Today

159.3 Million
Number of people aged 16+ in the nation’s labor force¹
12.3 Million
Number of employees in the U.S. manufacturing sector (durable and nondurable) as of July 2016²
58.4 Million
Number of U.S. workers aged 16+ in management, professional and related occupations as of July 2016³
Share of total U.S. employment that the nation’s science and engineering workforce – which includes such occupations as chemists, mathematicians, economists and engineers – represents⁴
6.6 Million
Number of employment opportunities created between 2010 (when the economic recovery began) and 2015, with most “good jobs” added in managerial, STEM and healthcare professional occupations⁵
Number of jobs posted in the life sciences industry nationwide last year – a 45 percent jump from 2010 – driven mostly by employment opportunities in chemistry, clinical trials and clinical research⁶
Number of U.S. job postings in 2015 for top four leading life sciences jobs combined: medical scientists, except epidemiologists (21,713), medical and clinical laboratory technicians (18,753), chemists (8,960), medical and clinical lab technologists (5,451)⁷
Number of U.S. job postings in 2015 for quality control analysts (3270), quality control systems managers (3,257) and regulatory affairs specialists (2,265) combined⁸

Number of U.S. pharma job openings in 2015, the three most in demand being drug safety professionals, regulatory affairs professionals and clinical project managers⁹

Hiring Outlook

Percentage of employers who plan to hire full-time, permanent workers in the second half of 2016 – driven largely by IT, health care and manufacturing industries¹º
Percentage of engineer-employing companies likely to hire engineers in 2016, particularly those in mechanical, electrical, manufacturing, chemical and control systems disciplines¹¹
Percentage of life sciences professionals who see themselves working for the same company in 2017¹²
Percentage of science and clinical hiring managers who believe scientific and clinical workers are in short supply¹³
Percentage of scientific and clinical workers who believe they are in high demand by potential employers, with 61 percent saying they are in a good position to bargain¹⁴
Number of unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S., with 76 percent of manufacturers struggling to fill those positions with people whose skills match their job requirements¹⁵
Percentage of growth projected in STEM jobs by 2018, compared with 9.8 percent for non-STEM jobs¹

Typical Workweek

Average number of hours that full-time employees work each week¹⁷
Percentage of workers who believe the traditional 9-to-5 workday is a thing of the past¹⁸
Percentage of full-time employees who say they complete work outside of office hours – with 49 percent saying they check or respond to email when they leave work¹⁹
Percentage of workers who typically commute to work by driving
Percentage of workers who typically commute to work via public transportation²¹
Average expense of going to work each month – including commuting, lunch, daycare, pet care, coffee and clothes/shoes/accessories – or around $3,300 per year²²
Average estimated raise for all workers in 2015²³
¹ U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), July 2016 Employment Situation
² Ibid.
³ Ibid.
⁴ National Science Board (NSB), Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 (Digest)
⁵ Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), Good Jobs Are Back
⁶ Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes, 2016 Life Sciences Workforce Trends (Key findings)
¹º CareerBuilder, Midyear 2016 U.S. Job Forecast 
¹¹ ManpowerGroup/Experis Engineering, Engineering Talent Supply and Demand 2016 (Infographic
¹² ProClinical/Staff Science, Employee Engagement Report 2016 (Infographic
¹³ Kelly Services, 2015 Hiring Manager Research
¹⁴ Ibid.
¹ Adecco Engineering and Technology, 2016 infographic 
¹⁷ Monster, 2015 Labor Day infographic 
¹⁸ CareerBuilder, July 2016 survey findings
¹⁹ Ibid.
²⁰ CareerBuilder, June 2016 survey findings
²¹ Ibid.
²² Ibid.

David Butcher
 has been writing about business and technology trends in the industrial B2B space for more than a decade. Currently a marketing communications specialist at MasterControl, he previously served as editor of ThomasNet News’ Industry Market Trends and as assistant editor for Technology Marketing Corp.’s Customer Interaction Solutions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the State University of New York, Purchase.