U.S. R&D Employment

Research conducted by the National Science Foundation discovered that in 2013, 1.5 million workers inside the U.S. were employed for R&D (research and development) purposes meaning they provided direct support or worked directly on R&D. Those 1.5 million constituted 1% of the U.S. workforce.

The research also found that smaller companies were more likely to support a greater percentage of R&D staff than larger companies. This is due to the innovation, startup and small business atmosphere that is fundamental to the structure and success of these small companies. Larger companies employ roughly 6.5% R&D members where small businesses employ almost double at about 11.7%.

The largest R&D employment industries in 2013 were:

  • Semiconductor and other electronic components (32.4%);
  • Software publishers (25.4%); and
  • Pharmaceuticals and medicines (18.8%).

Within these industries alone the R&D workforce was calculated as two-thirds of the 1.5 million U.S. research and development employment population.

Despite the large scale research and development performed within the U.S., many companies are still foregoing the opportunity to receive the tax break provided through the R&D Tax Incentive, which was created to support innovation and development. In many cases companies do not claim due to a lack of knowledge regarding eligibility.

If  you would like to discuss the R&D Tax Incentive further, please do not hesitate to contact one of Swanson Reed’s offices today.

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