Pharma only bioscience industry to shed jobs in latest Battelle study

May 11, 2010
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2010,

About one out of four public pharma companies was profitable in 2009, according to study

Employment in the bioscience sector has grown, according to the Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives 2010 report, but that’s no thanks to pharma, which represents 22% of the US bioscience sector in employment. In fact, of the four subsectors in the biosciences, only one—drugs and pharmaceuticals—shed jobs from 2007 to 2008, with a decrease of 7,445 jobs or 2.3%.

That’s hardly a figure to cause concern—until you consider the fact that 2008 was the first year of the Great Recession and the most current year for which detailed industry data are available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Report authors note this, and admit that the 2009 jobs data, when available, will likely reflect the real impact of the recession on the sector.

Total employment in the drugs and pharmaceuticals subsector totaled 311,882 in 2008, and seven states—California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania—and Puerto Rico have the largest share of employment, each with at least a 5% share of total US pharma employment. Texas and Massachusetts were right behind these states, with a 3% to 4.9% share each.

Substantial employment increases, classified as gains of more than 1,000 jobs, were seen in California, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, while substantial losses occurred in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

New this year, the report also includes a national examination of the financial performance of the industry, which report authors say addresses its longterm sustainability and growth. Of 383 public pharma companies analyzed for the report, 95 firms reported positive net income for 2009. Battelle used information from Hoover’s corporate database (financial data from Morningstar Financial) and corporate SEC filings to assess both total revenue and total net income.

Battelle and BIO have tracked the development of the US bioscience sector on a two-year basis since 2004.

Download the full Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Initiatives 2010 report.