Issue: 10/04

GlobalSpec's 2004 Industrial Indicator Survey of Engineers in the U.S. shows that the U.S. economy and the tech sector are both well on their way to a recovery-and a recovery that may not be as jobless as some people think.

The survey, conducted among readers of GlobalSpec's e-newsletter, found that:

  • 30% of companies had increased headcount in the first half of 2004, a jump of more than 200% over the same period a year ago.

  • 25% of companies expect to increase spending on R&D, more than 150% higher than the percentage of companies that said they planned to do so in the survey last year.

  • More than twice as many companies are expanding their sales efforts into new markets over last year (41% this year to 19% in 2003).

  • More than half of the companies expect to increase their component and services spending in the second half of 2004, with another 41% staying at their spending level.

Why is this important? Trends in the engineering community tend to reflect a sea change about to occur in the U.S. economy and technology sectors down the line, since engineers are on the front lines of design innovation and development for products expected to come to market soon. Based on this survey, Guy Masur, GlobalSpec's vice president, says, "There's generally a good feeling among the often cautious engineering community that the economic slump is over."