NC Life Science Sector Growing at Triple the National Rate

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina’s life science jobs continue to grow at more than triple the national average, pushing the total number of people employed in the sector statewide above 70,000 for the first time, according to a recent report. The numbers are part of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s State Initiatives Report 2016. TEConomy, a leading research firm specializing in innovation-based economic development, released its report in June at the BIO 2016 International Convention in San Francisco. The report shows job growth across the nation of 2.2 percent from 2012 to 2014. North Carolina’s jobs grew by 6.6 percent to 70,466 during that time.

David Menzies | 919-274-6862 Fiction Writer and Public Relations Consultant  |
Giving You An Unfair Advantage
NC Biotech_Glaxo worker facing cameraNorth Carolina continues to be strong in drugs and pharmaceuticals; research, testing and medical laboratories; and agricultural feedstock and chemicals, according to a news release from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech). The state is marginally specialized in bioscience-related distribution. Jobs in the medical device segment shrunk by 3.5 percent.

Overall, the state’s location quotient, a measure of specialization in life science, is 1.46. This puts North Carolina among the 10 most specialized states. Three of the state’s metropolitan statistical areas reflect high life-science specialization. Greensboro/High Point joins Durham/Chapel Hill as one of six MSAs with specialization in four areas of life science. Raleigh is one of 25 MSAs with specialization in three areas.

Other areas strong in at least one segment of life science include Fayetteville (agriculture), Rocky Mount (drugs and pharmaceuticals), Greenville (drugs and pharmaceuticals), Burlington (#1 small MSA in research, testing and medical labs), Hickory/Lenoir/Morganton (distribution) and Wilmington (research, testing and medical labs).

Here’s an overview of North Carolina’s life science sector employment change by segment:

Drugs and pharmaceuticals, 3.4 percent job growth to 21,658, 2.54 times more specialized than the average state.

Research, testing and medical laboratories, 18.5 percent job growth to 23,282, 1.66 times more specialized than average.

Agriculture chemicals and feedstocks, 3,116 jobs, 4.7 percent decline, 1.38 more specialized than average.

Distribution, 13,864 employees, 3.4 percent growth, 1.05 more specialized than average.

Devices, 8,545 employees, 1.5 percent decline, 0.84 times less specialized than average.

TEConomy’s report is based on a proprietary set of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and data provided by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. (NCBiotech puts the number of life science employees in North Carolina at 63,000, using more narrow definitions of the sector than TEConomy.)

David Menzies | 919-274-6862 | Writer and Public Relations Consultant  | Editor | |