By Chris | September 2, 2008
No, we are not. From something I came across today:
Concerns about the science and engineering job market are not rooted in a classic labor market shortage. The earnings of scientists and engineers are not rising rapidly, relative to other highly educated workers. There are no massive job vacancies in academe, business, or government. If rapidly rising pay is the primary signal of a market shortage, then the United States has a shortfall of CEOs, professional athletes, entertainers, and hedge fund managers, not scientific and engineering specialists.
The number of science and engineering workers in this country has increased at an annual rate of 2.7 percent — which far exceeds the rate of growth of the work force. The number of bachelors and masters graduates in the fields has trended upward. The supply of PhDs in science and engineering has roughly stabilized at about 28,000 per year, more than enough to keep the stock of PhD specialists rising.
If we want the rest of the world to develop, it is unreasonable to expect the United States to be the R&D capital of the world. There are just too many other good minds in the pool of 5.5 billion who don’t call the U.S. home. Nevertheless, I agree with the author that engineers and scientists create positive externalities that deserve more subsidies.