Advanced industries are proving to be a powerhouse of the U.S. economy. But the question is: are we ready? And can we keep the momentum going?
The Brookings Institution this week released a report titled “America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter.” These industries have provided a strong economic punch and also support the most R&D and innovation that can lead to sustainable growth. A few key takeaways:
1. While these advanced industries are a moderately sized segment, they punch above their weight in terms of economic impact. The combined industries account for 17 percent of all GDP, more than any other sector. The segment also employees 80 percent of all engineers and accounts for 90 percent of all private-sector R&D.
2. While employment in the sector has stayed relatively flat since 1980, its output in that time has soared. Their expansion was 30 percent faster than the economy as a whole, and they created 65 percent of post-recession jobs.
3. Workers in these industries are finding great economic opportunity. Wages are rising faster than the rest of the economy, and workers on average earned twice as much as those outside the advanced industries.
4. But … the United States is losing competitive ground to other countries. This includes such things as less innovation, a growing trade deficit, and an increasing shortage of skilled workers. For the United States to remain competitive, these and other challenges must be addressed.
The report goes on to provide a strategy for boosting these advanced industries and keeping them on a forward path. It’s a critical time to take action to ensure future prosperity and economic security, as well as our global competitiveness.