8.8 million science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs in May 2016

July 06, 2017

In May 2016, there were 8.8 million science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs, representing 6.3 percent of U.S. employment.
Metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of employment in STEM occupations, May 2016
Metropolitan area Percent of total employment

California-Lexington Park, MD

22.2%

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

21.9

Boulder, CO

16.9

Huntsville, AL

16.2

Corvallis, OR

12.8

Ann Arbor, MI

12.5

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

12.1

Ames, IA

11.6

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

11.6

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

11.6

United States

6.3

Among metropolitan areas in May 2016, California-Lexington Park, Maryland, and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, had the highest percentage of area employment in STEM jobs, with 22 percent each. Other metropolitan areas with above-average shares of STEM employment included Boulder, Colorado (16.9 percent); Huntsville, Alabama (16.2 percent); and Corvallis, Oregon (12.8 percent). 

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California, had total STEM employment of 228,580 in May 2016. As a percentage of area employment, the San Jose metropolitan area had 23 times as many computer hardware engineers and over 9 times as many systems software developers as the United States as a whole.

STEM occupations with the highest location quotients in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, May 2016
Occupation Location quotient

Computer hardware engineers

22.57

Software developers, systems software

9.39

Software developers, applications

7.02

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

6.75

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

6.73

Electronics engineers, except computer

6.21

Materials engineers

5.55

Computer and information research scientists

5.51

Sales engineers

5.36

Computer and information systems managers

5.22

San Jose also had above-average concentrations of several other computer and engineering occupations, including applications software developers and aerospace engineering and operations technicians.

Location quotients are the ratio of an occupation’s employment share in a state or area to its national share. For example, an occupation that makes up 6 percent of state employment and 2 percent of national employment would have a location quotient in that state of 6/2 = 3. A location quotient greater than 1 means the occupation has a higher share of state or area employment than the national average.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. This article uses one of many possible STEM definitions. For additional data, including a list of occupations used in the STEM definition, refer to May 2016 STEM data [XLSX]. Metropolitan area data for detailed occupations are also available. For more information on STEM occupations, see the Spotlight on Statistics on STEM Occupations: Past, Present, and Future.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 8.8 million science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs in May 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/8-point-8-million-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-jobs-in-may-2016.htm (visited October 22, 2017).

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