The U.S. STEM Talent Cluster Report | Big Regions 2019

How to read cluster charts.JPG
How to read cluster charts.JPG

The U.S. STEM Talent Cluster Report | Big Regions 2019


This report analyzes the relative availability, concentration, and wages of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent across twenty of the largest regional labor markets in the United States. The pace of technological change continues to accelerate. Employers require sophisticated skill sets rooted in STEM. The future economic development of cities and regions also depends on their ability to attract and retain that talent. The purpose of this report is to therefore give investors, enterprises, and local government a top-level comparison of regional labor dynamics and distribution of STEM talent.

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LUFT is a research firm registered with the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project. This report is complementary for practitioners working in tourism or economic development. Please fill out form to request access.

Who should purchase this report?

- Enterprise directors of workforce strategy (where to grow)
- Real estate & hospitality investors (where to build)
- Economic developers (how to market my region to investors)
- Meetings & convention bureaus (how to market my region to meeting planners)

Why should I purchase this report?

The U.S. STEM Talent Cluster Report, 2019 offers a visual breakout and deep segmentation of talent distribution across the twenty largest labor markets in the United States. Use this report to understand which regions offer the most specialized talent across tech, biotech, engineering, data sciences, and post-secondary education. Metrics include total STEM employment and specialized STEM employment segmented by six unique talent clusters; median wage comparisons across regions to understand labor costs across cities; and concentration of specialized talent for twenty U.S. metro areas: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington D.C.

What are talent clusters?

Talent clustering is a method of regional industry & workforce analysis that segments local employment and occupational data into related skill types. These data offer employers, investors, and policymakers comparisons of talent supply and competitiveness of regions. The information can be used to guide investment decisions and policy design and strategy in economic development and visitor attraction initiatives. In this report, we have segmented out six distinct talent clusters from the 100 occupations identified under the STEM umbrella, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Computing & Digital Sciences Cluster

  • Data & Business Sciences Cluster

  • Biological & Chemical Sciences Cluster

  • Electrical, Materials, Mechanical Engineering Cluster

  • Facilities & Infrastructure Engineering Cluster

  • Post-Secondary STEM Education Cluster



The U.S. STEM Talent Cluster Report, 2019 is a labor market segmentation analysis of the twenty largest metro area labor pools in the United States. The report uses 2018 labor market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to assess metro area jobs volume, jobs concentration, and wages to analyze the relative competitiveness of regions. STEM cluster definitions are mutually exclusive and formed by bucketing like occupations into specializations that lend to specific industry and corporate applications e.g. the computing and digital sciences cluster which includes specific job titles including: computer programmers, web developers, data base administrators - with a total of 15 different occupations identified for this cluster. The clustering method allows for deeper segmentation of employment data that is available with standard BLS categories.

Principal Researcher


Luke Bujarski is the founder and managing director at LUFT, a research firm analyzing future trends in how we live, work, and play. His 20 year career in research spans travel, technology, global sourcing, tourism & economic development, and urban planning research. In previous roles, Luke was the founding director at Skift Research, a travel industry media brand; research director, Europe for Phocuswright, a research firm specialized in travel sector tech marketing & distribution; workforce development director at the Institute for Latino Progress in Chicago; senior supply chain consultant with SAP Ariba, among others. Luke has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Luke has published volumes on niche topics in e-commerce marketplaces, mobility and tech, and regional economics. Luke is a regular speaker at global conferences and summits.


LUFT is a research firm delivering data and strategic insight into trends shaping the future of how we live, work, and play. We work with hospitality, real estate, destination brands and enterprise to help assess future needs for growth and competitive advantage.