Chipping In: The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Workforce and How Federal Incentives Will Increase Domestic Jobs – Semiconductor Industry Association

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), in partnership with Oxford Economics, released a study analyzing the semiconductor workforce in the United States and the economic benefits that would come from robust federal investment in domestic chip production. The report finds the semiconductor industry directly employs more than 277,000 workers in high-paying R&D, design, and manufacturing jobs across 49 states and supports 1.6 million additional American jobs. The study also projects a $50 billion federal investment program to incentivize domestic semiconductor manufacturing would create an annual average of 185,000 temporary American jobs and add to $24.6 billion to the U.S. economy as new semiconductor manufacturing facilities, or fabs, are constructed from 2021-2026. Enduring positive impact of such a program would be to add 280,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy of which 42,000 would be directly employed in the semiconductor industry. This would boost U.S. semiconductor industry employment to 319,000 and its total jobs impact to 2.13 million by 2027.
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The U.S. semiconductor industry is substantial, directly contributing $246.4 billion to U.S. GDP and directly employing over 277,000 workers in 2020. However, the economic contribution of the semiconductor industry extends far beyond fabrication facilities (fabs) or research facilities where its products are designed and manufactured. The strong demand for all types of chips facilitates the need for a broader domestic support ecosystem including manufacturing equipment, materials, design services, testing labs, and R&D activity. This ecosystem creates activities that generate additional economic value throughout the U.S. economy. 

We estimate a $50 billion federal investment program to incentivize domestic semiconductor manufacturing would add $24.6 billion annually to the U.S. economy and would create an average of 185,000 temporary jobs annually throughout the U.S. economy from 2021 and 2026. Over this six-year build-out period, therefore, the cumulative annual impact of such an incentive program on GDP and jobs would be $147.7 billion and 1.1 million, respectively.

While the $50 billion federal incentive program would be a one-time investment, the end result of building up this domestic semiconductor industrial infrastructure will have an enduring positive impact on the U.S. economy and jobs. An investment of this magnitude would help create an estimated 10 additional fabs in the U.S. that would otherwise not be built and add 42,000 new semiconductor jobs to the U.S. economy. This uplift would translate into additional ripple effects that the domestic semiconductor industry contributes to the U.S. economy. For example, we would expect the U.S. semiconductor workforce to reach 319,000 by 2027, an increase of 42,000 from the 2020 total of 277,000. Assuming a similar magnitude of jobs multipliers identified in our 2020 findings, (6.7 jobs multiplier for the semiconductor industry), we anticipate the U.S. semiconductor industry would support roughly 2.13 million jobs in the U.S. economy in 2027, an increase of 280,000 from the 2020 total of 1.85 million.

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