Education and Training

Unemployment for Engineers and Doctoral Scientists Below National Average

16 September 2014

A new National Science Foundation (NSF) report says the 2013 unemployment rate for individuals with research doctoral degrees in science, engineering and health (SEH) fields was one-third the rate for the general population aged 25 and older--2.1% versus 6.3%.

According to the report, an estimated 837,900 individuals in the United States held SEH research doctoral degrees in 2013. Nearly 735,900 of them were in the labor force, including those employed full time or part time and unemployed individuals actively seeking work.

Statistics show that 25.5% of SEH doctoral degree holders in the labor force held a doctorate in the biological, agricultural or environmental life sciences; 18.5% held doctorates in engineering; 17.1% in physical sciences; 14.5% in psychology; 12.3% in social sciences; 4.6% in health; 4.5% in mathematics and statistics and 3% in computer and information sciences.

Meanwhile, women continue to represent a growing share of doctorate holders, rising from 30.2% in 2008 to 32.9% in 2013. The labor force participation rate among SEH doctorate holders was 89.1% for women in 2013, compared with 87.2% for men. Female SEH doctorate holders were less likely than their male counterparts to be employed full time in 2013 (72.7% of women, 77.5% of men) and more likely not to be seeking work (3.7% of women, 0.8% of men).

Additional Resources: IHS US Economic Forecasts and Analysis

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