CROs see high jobs growth as bio industry remains relatively flat, report finds

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

40 of 50 US states experienced some increase in research, testing and medical labs jobs
40 of 50 US states experienced some increase in research, testing and medical labs jobs

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While the overall bioscience industry has seen 7.4% jobs growth between 2001 and 2012, the sector encompassing CROs and other research, testing and medical labs has grown by more than 28%, according to a new report from industry group BIO and Battelle.

Among the major subsectors divided up for the report, research, testing, and medical labs -- of which CROs and CMOs feature prominently -- is not only the largest of the five, but also the fastest growing.

The subsector, which includes Quintiles, Covance, Charles River Laboratories and Lab Corp., employs more than 467,000 or nearly one in three US bioscience workers and has recorded “an impressive set of steady job gains over the full 11-year period since 2001 that during the recovery period of 2009–2012 the bioscience sector overall experienced relatively slow employment growth of 0.3 percent, a rate below that of the total private sector during this same time period​,” the report found.

The report echoes similar findings from a survey by ACRO​ (Association of Clinical Research Organizations) in 2011.

Steady Growth

From 2007-12, as some markets saw a fall-off from the economic recession, 40 states experienced some increase in research, testing and medical labs jobs, with 23 states having substantial increases -- led by California, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina.

Similar to other subsectors, the 10 largest employer states account for 62 percent of all jobs in the subsector of research, testing and labs – with the largest states as the likely top guns California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, while some of the up-and-coming players include Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Maryland and Illinois.

The average annual salary for the subsector is $91,248, which was more than the $88,202 average for the bioscience industry as a whole, and almost double the average private sector salary of $49,130.

Eleven states and Puerto Rico have a specialized concentration of jobs in the research, testing, and medical laboratories subsector, including Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Puerto Rico, California, North Carolina, Utah, Idaho, Washington and Pennsylvania.

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