Two year’s ago this month the Fourth Economy team completed an assignment for the Pennsylvania Life Science Leadership Advisory Council. At a news event in May 2012 we participated in the release of “Life Sciences Leadership for the Next Decade: Nurturing a Life Science Ecosystem for Job Creation and Economic Development in Pennsylvania”. This report highlighted five steps and related actions that the life science community could undertake to maintain the economic impact of the life science industry in the state.
Flash forward two years and we wanted to check in and see how the industry was performing in terms of employment and establishments. The following information summarizes our findings. The life science industry continues to be a strong overall sector for the state’s economy.
Overall industry sector employment
Total employment in the sector stood at 84,250 in 2008 and then fell to 79,262 in 2011. As we looked at 2013 we note that the losses from the Great Recession have been eliminated and the state now has 85,151 people employed in the life science industry. This employment has largely been driven by the Research, Testing and Medical Laboratory growth with 7,217 additional employees between 2008 to 2013. This trend was predicted in the 2012 analysis due to the growth in the number of establishments that had begun operations during that period of analysis. The Drugs and Pharmaceutical sub-sector continued to see a decline with 4,455 reduction in employees between 2008 and 2013.
Establishments in the Sector
The number of establishments in the Research, Testing and Medical Laboratory sub-sector continued to grow at a strong pace with 727 firms starting up in the five-year period a 24% increase. The Medical Device and Drug and Pharmaceutical sub-sectors both saw decreases in establishments loosing 60 and 7 establishments respectively.
Based on this analysis and review of other literature the overall sector is expected to continue to grow being driven by the Research, Testing & Medical Laboratory sub-sector.
Wages Continue to Grow
The total wages of the life sciences industry stand at over $7B with a significant proportion resulting from the Research, Testing & Medical Laboratory sub-sector.
Fourth Economy will continue to track the growth and changes in the industry and publish additional information at a later date.