New data brief/chart from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
From the NSF Introductory Blog Post:
Companies active in research and development (R&D) employed 1.5 million scientists, engineers, researchers, managers, technicians, support staff and other R&D workers in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).
Although R&D workers account for just over 1 percent of total business employment in the Unites States, they play a vital role in creating the new ideas and technologies that keep companies competitive, create new markets and spur economic growth. The three largest industry groups in terms of domestic R&D employment in 2013 were:
Software publishing (181,000 R&D workers).
Pharmaceuticals and medicine (117,000).
Semiconductors and other electronic components (109,000).
Large companies dominated R&D employment, accounting for two-thirds of the total 1.5 million workers. However, small companies devote a greater share of their operations to R&D, due in part to the fact that small businesses include more startups. R&D workers make up 11.7 percent of the total workforce at small companies active in R&D, in contrast to 6.5 percent at large companies.
Women accounted for one-quarter of the 1.5 million total R&D workers, consistent with their underrepresentation in science and engineering fields of study. The fields that saw the highest rates of representation for women were pharmaceuticals and medicine, as well as scientific R&D services, a category largely made up of contractors that assist pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies.