Posted by: Audrey Erbes | February 22, 2012

California Biomedical Workforce Flat plus Jobs That Crossed My Desk

The recently released report California Biomedical Industry 2012 prepared by the CHI, BayBio and PWC presents data on changes in employment levels as well as shifts among sectors in creation of new jobs. Competition for companies to move outside California to other clusters has never been greater. Clearly, those of us in California—companies and members of the workforce—need to help address the challenges to maintaining our strength and vibrant professional workforce going forward.

There’s been a decline in total industry employment since height of 2008 with a return to 2006 levels. This isn’t so surprising considering the impact on Genentech from the buyout by Roche and closing of their labs in Palo Alto which were the last remnants of the Syntex company they acquired in the mid-1990s. The many acquisitions of local companies by large corporations has also impacted on the staffing in California as the acquirers have sought to cut administrative costs and duplications with their other holdings. Financial incentives to locate in Boston and China have also been a factor in CEOs and entrepreneurs’ decisions to move a portion or all of their operations outside California.

California Biomedical Employment by Year and Growth Rate

Biomedical sector 2008 2010 Average annual growth rate
Academic research 40,550 39,603 -0.59%
Biopharmaceuticals 77,091 82,621 1.75%
Laboratory services 6,215 6,149 -0.27%
Medical devices, instruments & diagnostics 112,533 107,467 -1.15%
Wholesale trade 30,612 31,432 .66%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Quartely Census of Employment and Wages and Company Specific SEC Filings, found on p. 7 of California Biomedical Industry 2012.

There has been growth in our workforce in some areas of California with San Diego and Orange Counties taking the lead with 13.0% and 7.9% in 2010 versus 2009, respectively. The Bay Area lost about 1.3%; Los Angeles, 3.5; Riverside and San Bernandino Counties, 3.4% and Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, 2.3% in that same period.

I encourage you to listen to the prerecorded complimentary Elsevier Webinar sponsored by Merrill Datasite on the subject of the California industry at to gain a better understanding what can be done to meet the challenges confronting the state.

Listings for positions have increased in the past week as companies move on in delivering their milestones and advancing their pipelines. Access this week’s Jobs That Crossed My Desk by right clicking on highlighted title


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