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US bioscience industry at record strength

June 11, 2020

The U.S. bioscience industry is helping to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic through two, key characteristics: its innovative capacity to address global challenges, and its role as a consistent economic stalwart, with a track record of generating high-quality jobs and growth that has acted as a key buffer during prior economic recessions. Those are among the findings of the ninth biennial report on the economic footprint of the industry, The Bioscience Economy: Propelling Life-Saving Treatments, Supporting State & Local Communities, produced by TEConomy and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

While the report as usual covers the state of the bioscience industry and its associated innovation ecosystem at the national, state, and metropolitan levels, this year it also analyzes the role of small- and medium-sized biopharmaceutical companies within the innovation pipeline of new treatments in response to the pandemic, saying that it is “mobilizing in an unprecedented manner to address the pandemic.”

The report found that since 2016, the industry has grown its employment base by 7.2 percent, which was measured prior to the pandemic. But the report also notes that during the years of 2007-2009 (during and following the Great Recession), the overall U.S. private sector employment declined by 6.9 percent compared with a decline of just 1.4 percent for biosciences. And following the 2001 recession, employment in the bioscience industry rose by 2 percent compared to a drop of 2 percent across all industries. Wages are also higher than average in biosciences, with the average bioscience worker earning more than $107,000.

The bioscience industry’s total economic impact on the U.S. economy totaled $2.6 trillion in 2018, with its geographic footprint extending to every U.S. state and region, according to the report. The full report may be found here.