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May, 1985, Vol. 108, No. 5
of high tech industries
High technology industries are perceived to have offered good economic news during recent recessions. However, analysis of trends in these industries reveals that they are not immune from problems which occur in the economy, including the effects of the business cycle.
In the most recent recession, only the most narrowly defined of three groups of high tech industries performed better in terms of employment than the nonfarm business sector. The three groups of high tech industries are:
Group I comprises industries with a proportion of technology-oriented workers (engineers, life and physical scientists, mathematical specialists, engineering and science technicians, and computer specialists) at least 1.5 times the average for all industries.
Group II comprises industries with a ratio of R&D expenditures to net sales at least twice the average for all industries.
Group III comprises manufacturing industries with a proportion of technology-oriented workers equal to or greater than the average for all manufacturing industries, and a ratio of R&D expenditures to sales close to or above the average for all industries. Two nonmanufacturing industries are also included.
This article discusses employment trends in high tech industries through 1984, updating the November 1983 Monthly Labor Review article which reported developments over the 1972-82 period.1 In addition, it presents high tech employment in 1983 by State and for the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
This excerpt is from an article published in the May 1985 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Richard W. Riche, Daniel E. Hecker, and John U. Burgan, "High technology today and tomorrow: a small slice of the employment pie," Monthly Labor Review, November 1983, pp. 50-58.
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