Knowledge and technology intensity within an industry can be measured in several ways, including an industry’s employment of highly skilled workers and its R&D intensity.
Using R&D intensity as a measure, the most R&D-intensive industries globally are manufacturing of aircraft; pharmaceuticals; computer, electronic, and optical products; computer software publishing; and scientific R&D. In these industries, global value-added output in 2018 was more than $3.2 trillion.
Between 2003 and 2018, U.S. output increased from about $570 billion to $1.04 trillion, while the U.S. global share declined from 38% to 32%. Over this period, the EU’s and Japan’s global shares declined, whereas China’s share rose rapidly.