Semiconductor Jobs Tied to Effective Government Policies

Friday, Nov 09, 2012, 12:00am

by Semiconductor Industry Association

In an exciting development for our industry, last week SIA announced that U.S. semiconductor employment has reached nearly 250,000 and the industry added jobs three times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. A deeper look at the underlying government data reveals an interesting correlation between job increases in the semiconductor industry and job increases in the broader U.S. economy.

According to government data, November 2009 marked the low point of the global economic recession. Not surprisingly, this month also featured the lowest monthly jobs total for the semiconductor industry. During the worst of the economic downturn in 2008-2009, the semiconductor manufacturing sector alone lost over 22,500 jobs, its biggest drop since 2003.  Since then, however, the broader U.S. economy has added jobs (1.2 percent increase from 2010 to 2011), and so too has the semiconductor industry (3.7 percent increase from 2010 to 2011).

Interestingly, the increased number of semiconductor jobs was due to existing U.S. firms growing their employment rather than new firms entering the industry. In fact, although semiconductor jobs increased from 2010 to 2011, the number of U.S. semiconductor manufacturing establishments actually decreased during the same period.

This indicates that while semiconductor employment is on the rise, there is still much more work to be done for the industry to reach its full potential. Effective government policies are critical to easing economic uncertainty and creating a favorable environment to expand semiconductor manufacturing capacity in America.  With the election now behind us, SIA looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to enact policies that enable the semiconductor industry to continue to create jobs and spur economic growth.