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National Bioscience Report Shows Industry Creating Jobs and Driving Innovation

Bioscience industry contributing to U.S. economic growth and improving quality of life for patients

San Francisco, CA (June 7, 2016)—A study released today at the BIO International Convention shows increased employment within the U.S. bioscience industry for the last four consecutive years. The report also shows impressive bioscience industry strength and resilience, with employment growth of nearly 10 percent since 2001. Among technology sectors the bioscience industry has been a leading performer over this period.

The report, The Value of Bioscience Innovation in Growing Jobs and Improving Quality of Life 2016, finds U.S. bioscience firms employ 1.66 million people, a figure that includes nearly 147,000 high-paying jobs created since 2001. The average annual wage for a U.S. bioscience worker reached $94,543 in 2014. These earnings are $43,000 greater, on average, than the overall U.S. private sector wage of $51,148. The report further shows that since 2012, the bioscience industry has grown by 2.2 percent with four of its five major subsectors contributing to this overall job gain. Two of these subsectors—research, testing, and medical labs and drugs and pharmaceuticals—have led growth during the 2-year period with both increasing employment by more than 3 percent.

The report also takes the pulse of the broader U.S. innovation ecosystem for bioscience companies and finds this ecosystem rebounding but with mixed results. The U.S. is experiencing strong gains in bioscience venture capital funding and patents, but a slowdown in bioscience-related university R&D expenditures and declining research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition to examining the economic value of bioscience innovation, the report takes a focused look at the value of this innovation to patients illustrated via two case studies for patients with lung cancer and Type 2 diabetes. The value of bioscience innovation is evident in quality of life improvements achieved over the last three decades, but there is more to be done.

“This report highlights the long-term expansion of our industry and the significant impact of the highpaying jobs that come with developing the innovative technologies that are helping to heal, fuel and feed the world. These biotech jobs are a critical economic component to states and local communities across the nation,” said Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “While the bioscience industry has continued to grow, our analysis shows it is not immune to market realties. State-level legislative and regulatory policies directly impact the innovation that brings research from the lab to the marketplace, and BIO will continue to advocate for effective public policy at every level of government.”

“The bioscience industry continues to prove its economic value by driving U.S. economic growth through innovation, but beyond this economic value, the industry is contributing value to patients every day through improvements to their quality of life,” said Ryan Helwig, Principal and Project Director with TEConomy Partners.

The state-by-state industry assessment is the seventh in a biennial series, developed in partnership by TEConomy and BIO, presenting data on national, state, and metropolitan area bioscience industry employment and recent trends.

Additional highlights from the industry economic analysis include:

  •  Overall industry employment has increased for four consecutive years, and in 2014 all five of the major industry subsectors grew.
  •  The industry continues to create and sustain high-wage jobs, reflecting the high skills and education requirements of an innovative workforce, with the average U.S. bioscience worker earning nearly 85 percent more than the private sector average. Bioscience wages have grown substantially faster than overall private sector wages.
  •  The industry is a major economic driver and is well distributed across U.S. states and cities:
    • From 2012 through 2014, 35 states experienced net job growth in the biosciences.
    • Thirty-two states and Puerto Rico have an employment specialization in at least one bioscience subsector (at least 20 percent more concentrated than the nation). 
    • For U.S. metropolitan areas, 222 of 381 have at least one bioscience specialization.
  •  Through strong economic multiplier impacts, each bioscience industry job generates an additional 4.5 jobs in the U.S. economy. The broader employment impact of the 1.66 million U.S. bioscience jobs is an additional 7.53 million jobs throughout the rest of the economy.

Highlights from the analysis of the innovation ecosystem for the bioscience industry include:

  •  TEConomy/BIO see strength in recent venture capital and patenting trends:
    • Venture capital investments in bioscience-related companies have increased significantly from a $10.0 billion per year average in 2012-13 to a $14.4 billion per year average in 2014-15. The investment levels reached in the last two years represent new highs for bioscience-related venture capital.
    • Innovation continues to drive the biosciences, with more than 100,000 U.S. bioscience patents awarded from 2012 through 2015. During this period, patent volumes continue to trend upward.
  •  Signs of stress remain in metrics of federal research funding and academic R&D activity:
    • Overall funding from NIH has declined by 3 percent from 2012 through 2015, despite an uptick in this latest year. It should be noted that concerns over this stagnate level of NIH funding led Congress to approve a nearly 6 percent increase for NIH in FY 2016.
    •  Across America’s colleges and universities, the pace of R&D spending in biosciencerelated research areas has slowed considerably. From 2012 through 2014, the average annual increase in bioscience-related university R&D was 0.6 percent, while during the preceding 10-year period annual increases averaged 7 percent.

The TEConomy/BIO report includes individual profiles for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and can be found on the BIO website at


About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

About TEConomy

TEConomy Partners, LLC is a global leader in research, analysis, and strategy for innovation-based economic development. Today we’re helping nations, states, regions, universities, and industries blueprint their future and translate knowledge into prosperity. The Principals of TEConomy Partners include the authors of the prior Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Development reports, published since 2004. For more information, please visit