The Data is in: It’s a Good Time to be Employed in Life Sciences

The data is in and it’s looking good for American Biotechnologists. According to the comprehensive Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives 2010 Report the bioscience industry experienced rapid growth between the years 2001 to 2008 (the years for which data is available so far) and is not showing any sign of slowing down into the 2009 recession (when compared to the rest of the economy). According to the report:

 1.42 Million people were employed in the US Biosciences sector as of 2008
 The number of employees grew 1.4% from 2007 to 2008 (double the private sector growth)
 39% of all Bioscience jobs were in Research, Testing and Medical Labs (RMTL)
 The average annual wage of RMTLs was 1.7x more than the national average at $80,785
 Key states for RMTL employment were California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

On the downside, the study found that for biotech companies size really does matter. Companies earning revenues of $1 Billion or more represented all the net income in the biotech sector. Furthermore, venture capital activity was down 37% in 2009 compared to 2008.

In spite of what we reported in a previous post that Washington’s stimulus package provided a renewed sense of enthusiasm among biotechnologists (see Funding Genomics: A Time to Celebrate), when the stimulus package funding is removed, NIH funding in 2009 was down 7.5% from 2008.

All told, the report paints a pretty nice picture of the biosciences industry, especially when compared to the general US economy. With all of the excitement generated by these recent reports I’m feeling very confident about my future as a biotechnologist. What about you?

For the full report see the Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives 2010 Report

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