Workforce Data

The Increasing Importance of Growing STEM in the Orange County Economy, October 2014

In partnership with the Orange County Business Council, the Orange County STEM Initiative developed a supplement to the Orange County Workforce Indicators report that looked at understanding the critical impact a STEM workforce contributes to Orange County’s current and future economy.

Significantly Increased Economic Vibrancy Over the Next 10 Years

An incremental doubling of Orange County’s STEM graduation rate over the next 10 years would generate the following impacts:

  • Direct Orange County labor income increases by an estimated $900 million;
  • With multiplier effects, total impacts forecast over $1.7 billion in new labor income per year; and
  • Almost 2.2 billion in new economic activity.

Additionally, doubling the STEM graduation rate would drive new job creation and earnings generated by these jobs bringing
benefits to the state, local and national government through new tax revenue of an estimated $465 million.

Key findings include:

  • STEM employment is a critical part of the Orange County economy and much more prevalent than previously thought.
    • OC’s STEM workforce is 21.2% of the total economy (2013);
    • An annual average salary for a STEM job requiring less than a bachelor’s degree is $55,503 compared to $36,281 for all non-STEM related jobs (2011); and
    • In 2014, over 40% of all job vacancies in OC are related to STEM.
  • OC has a significant mismatch between STEM occupational demand and the region’s current STEM labor supply.
  • If OC prioritizes STEM education and focuses on closing the STEM workforce gap, projected impacts in the next 10 years would be:
    • Economic activity and vibrancy would increase, more successful businesses would flourish, and more jobs would be created;
    • These new jobs would be filled by a steady-increasing supply of locally grown STEM workforce talent; and
    • STEM provides a significant opportunity for business to build/contribute to STEM career pathways for Orange County students.

  Download Your Copy!