In the U.S. Economy

  • In 2015, the United States spent nearly half a trillion dollars ($495 billion) on R&D. The vast majority of those investments – $355 billion, or 71% of the total – came from the private sector.
    • A breakdown of state-by-state expenditure can be found here.
  • Manufacturers are America’s largest investors in R&D, accounting for roughly two-thirds of private-sector R&D spending in 2015. Nearly one-fifth of private R&D investments come from IT companies.
  • About one-sixth of private U.S. R&D investments are made by small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

Creating and Supporting Jobs

  • R&D investments in the U.S. support millions of American jobs every year.
  • Roughly 70 percent of all expenditures claimed under the R&D Tax Credit are for salaries of highly skilled employees.

Around the World

Bottom Line

Given the positive impact of R&D investments on our nation’s economy, America’s leaders – in both government and business – have an obligation to maintain a favorable environment for R&D spending in the United States. From a tax perspective, that means preserving existing incentives for R&D in the tax code and, more importantly, preventing the capitalization of R&D expenses which would erode businesses’ ability to invest in R&D.