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The Engineering Labor Market: An Overview of Recent Trends

Daniel Kuehn, Hal Salzman

Chapter in NBER book U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy (2018), Richard B. Freeman and Hal Salzman, editors (p. 11 - 46)
Conference held September 26-27, 2011
Published in April 2018 by University of Chicago Press
© 2018 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book with a review of the engineering labor force, focusing on the employment, salary, and career trajectories of graduates that obtain engineering degrees and work in the field. Lacking a single comprehensive data source on engineers, this chapter draws on a wide variety of longitudinal career data and establishment-based employment and earnings data available from different government surveys of scientists, engineers and employers and on education administrative data on the supply of engineers coming from U.S. universities to Census survey data on the numbers from overseas. It disaggregates engineering into major subfields, whose employment differs sufficiently to face different supply and demand conditions.

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