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August 25, 2016

Massachusetts Biopharma Workforce Keeps Growing

  • Massachusetts’ top-tier biopharma cluster continued to generate R&D and manufacturing jobs last year, according to the latest edition of the annual report from the state’s life sciences industry group, released yesterday.

    The Bay State’s biopharma workforce grew 4.2% last year to a total 63,026 jobs, up from 60,459 in 2014, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) reported in its 2016 Industry Snapshot.

    The 2015 total represents a 37% increase in Massachusetts biopharma jobs from the 46,117 reported in 2006, MassBio said.

    “Massachusetts continues to shine in research and development, and this year we are also proud to see marked growth in biomanufacturing,” Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio, said in a statement. “MassBio has been working with our partners in government and academia to cultivate an ecosystem that supports biomanufacturing, so we are pleased to see those efforts paying off.”

    As GEN reported last week, Massachusetts’ biopharma cluster has capitalized on longtime strengths, from the presence of research universities and their professors, students, and graduates to a manufacturing base increasingly focused on biopharma as other industries moved to lower-cost countries or states.

    More than half of Massachusetts’ total biopharma jobs are in biotech R&D, which last year rose to 31,469 jobs, up 5.3% from 29,897 in 2014, the report stated. Since 2007—when the

    “Research and development in biotechnology” job classification was created and added to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)—Massachusetts has added 6904 biotech R&D jobs, up 28.1%.

    Massachusetts’ growth in biotech R&D jobs was only about half that of California, which produced 10,482 such jobs between 2007 and 2015, up 54.8%. However, California finished last year with fewer biotech R&D jobs than Massachusetts—29,616, according to MassBio.

    Rounding out the top five job-creating states in biotech R&D since 2007 were New Jersey (5232 jobs), New York (2892), and Delaware (2891).

    In biopharma manufacturing, MassBio said, Massachusetts last year recorded 10,616 jobs, up 6.3% from 9989 in 2014, and up more than one-third (33.6%) from the 7944 jobs the state had in 2006.

    However, Massachusetts’ biopharma manufacturing workforce was the nation’s 10th largest. The leading state, California, had 47,986 biomanufacturing jobs in 2015, up 8.9% from 47,163 the previous year—but only 1.7% above the 44,047 jobs recorded by the Golden State for 2006.

    California also enjoyed the highest amount of biomanufacturing employment growth, with 3939 jobs created between 2006 and 2015, while Massachusetts ranked second with 2672 jobs, the report added. North Carolina (2275 jobs), Maryland (1741), and Texas (1597) rounded out the top five states.

    According to the report, job data comes from both the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and data from privately owned companies.

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