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IP-intensive industries pay higher wages, support nearly 30 percent of all U.S. jobs, USPTO Finds

February 23, 2017

U.S. intellectual property (IP)-intensive industries employ at least 27.9 million workers and contributed more than $6.6 trillion dollars (38.2 percent) to U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, according to Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update. In this update to a 2012 report, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) identified 81 industries (from among 313 total) as IP-intensive including trademark-intensive, copyright-intensive, and patent-intensive industries.

In addition to the direct jobs, IP-intensive industries also indirectly supported 17.6 million more supply chain jobs throughout the economy. In total, IP-intensive industries directly and indirectly supported 45.5 million jobs, about 30 percent of all employment. In the study, an industry is designated as IP-intensive if its IP-count to employment ratio is higher than the average for all industries considered. D

The report also shows that private wage and salary workers in IP-intensive industries earn significantly more than those in non-IP-intensive industries. In 2014, workers in IP-intensive industries earned an average weekly wage that was 46 percent higher than the average weekly wage in non-IP-intensive industries in the private sector ($1,312 vs. $896).

While there is a significant wage gap, the educational gap between workers in IP-intensive and other industries was nearly nonexistent in 2015 with 39.8 percent of IP-intensive industries jobs having a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 38.9 percent of workers in other industries.

Exports of service-providing IP-intensive industries totaled about $81 billion in 2012 and accounted for approximately 12.3 percent of total U.S. private services exported that year.

intellectual property, workforce