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SIA White Paper: Semiconductor Industry Has Contributed More to U.S. Economic Growth than any other Major Manufacturing Industry

Posted by: Falan Yinug, Director, Industry Statistics & Economic Policy on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 12:00:00 pm

A newly published SIA white paper shows that, thanks to rapid technological development, the U.S. semiconductor industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy grew 265 percent from 1987 to 2011, more than that of any other major U.S. manufacturing industry. Based on official U.S. government data, the paper concludes what SIA and the industry has known for some time: the U.S. semiconductor industry is a uniquely vital contributor to the U.S. economy.  

The below figure, excerpted from the paper, provides a snapshot of the main finding.  

Here are a few other key takeaways from the paper about the importance of the U.S. semiconductor industry to the growth of the overall U.S economy: 

1) The U.S. semiconductor industry doubled its share of gross domestic product (GDP) between 1987 and 2011. During this period, the industry’s real contribution to U.S. GDP has grown annually by 5.5 percent, more than two times faster than GDP.

2) The U.S. semiconductor industry continued to grow rapidly during 2007-2011, despite a decreasing overall U.S. economic performance. The U.S. semiconductor industry’s real contribution grew 5.2 percent annually during this period – nearly twenty times faster than GDP, as its annual real growth slowed down to 0.3 percent. This disparity suggests the U.S. semiconductor industry is becoming ever more important to U.S. economic growth.

3) In absolute terms, the U.S. semiconductor industry’s share of U.S. GDP is the third largest of all U.S. manufacturing industries, contributing more than $65 billion, behind only the petroleum refinery and pharmaceutical preparations industries.

One interesting highlight the paper reveals about the uniqueness of U.S. semiconductor industry: the U.S. semiconductor industry not only has created a large amount of absolute value added to the U.S. economy, it also has increased its value added over time, which leads to economic growth. In other words, the semiconductor industry’s economic contribution to the U.S. economy is both large and fast-growing, while most other industries are only one or the other. Such an accomplishment is unique among U.S. industries—as well as pretty amazing!







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