US space employment, investments resist pandemic in 2020, continue to climb in 2021
by Staff Writers
Colorado Springs CO (SPX) Apr 15, 2021
Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, has released "The Space Report 2021 Q1," which determined that despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. space sector employment and investment grew in 2020 and are continuing to post gains in the first quarter of 2021.
Analysis by "The Space Report" of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for five key space sectors, those most closely aligned with the space industry, shows that hiring increased in all five, employing nearly 5,000 more workers in 2020, a 3.2% increase from 2019. Those new jobs helped propel private space employment to a nine-year high.
In 2020, private space employment totaled 147,953 workers, the highest level since 2011, when 149,818 were employed. For one sector - Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing - monthly BLS data shows another 1,000 employees hired from December 2020 to January 2021. That sector now has the highest employments levels since 1995, according to BLS data.
As hiring has grown, so has investment. In 2020, space-related mergers, buyouts and equity financings totaled $18.2 billion. In the first quarter of 2021, activity across those same areas generated $15 billion.
In stock market analysis, interest in Cathie Wood's ARK Investment Management space-related ETF fueled overall interest in space holdings, which helped propel the S-Network Space Index to a one-year gain of 97.5% as of March 23, 2021, nearly 11% higher than comparative indexes.
While non-space hiring and investment in the long run are expected to make greater gains as recovery progresses, the stability and growth of the space ecosystem during a pandemic shows its critical relevance to the overall economy and the ongoing development and diversification of space infrastructure that supports various global economies.
"The Space Report 2021 Q1" analysis also found that in regard to U.S. salaries, the average private sector space salary was $123,234, more than double the average salary for all U.S. private sector jobs of $59,202, and well above the average annual salary of $95,350 for STEM occupations, according to 2019 data, the most recent year available.
"Space is now home to the most dynamic and innovative economy on the planet, and that is why Space Foundation's Center for Innovation and Education is so dedicated to enabling and expanding access to build a skilled workforce for tomorrow," said Tom Zelibor, CEO, Space Foundation. "There has never been a better time to find a place in the space economy."
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China to develop aerospace as strategic emerging industry
Beijing (XNA) Apr 14, 2021
China will continue to exert great efforts to boost aerospace as a strategic emerging industry in the next five years, a senior aerospace official said. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is drawing up a plan for the country's space development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), said Zhang Kejian, head of the CNSA. During this period, China will promote priority science and technology projects in the aerospace field. These will include the lunar exploration progra ... read more
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