PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#NowHiring–The resilience of the life sciences industry is evidenced by continued job growth through 2020 despite the challenges arising from economic shutdowns and significant job losses in the overall private sector.

The Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes (CSBI) released the 2021 Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report with TEConomy Partners at this year’s global BIO Digital conference. The report provides a national snapshot of the most pressing current and anticipated talent needs of the nation’s dynamic life sciences industry. This year’s report also included key findings regarding the impact on talent and hiring dynamics of the global pandemic and the national focus on racial and social equity on the industry’s talent needs.

The life sciences industry continued to be a leading driver of employment across the country, employing 1.87 million across 101,000 companies as reported in The Bioscience Economy: Propelling Life-Saving Treatments, Supporting State and Local Communities 2020. The industry also continued to generate job growth through 2020 despite declines in the overall private sector. In 2020, U.S. life sciences employers published nearly 760,000 postings for life science positions.

Building on the success of its four prior reports, the 2021 CSBI TEConomy Workforce Trends Report examines key trends that are driving talent acquisition. Against the backdrop of the global pandemic and racial and social unrest in the U.S., the life science industry rapidly mobilized and pivoted to respond to the COVID-19 challenge by developing tests and vaccines at unprecedented speed, while elevating diversity, equity and inclusion as strategic priorities within their companies.

“The 2021 CSBI TEConomy report is a must read for those looking to gain a better understanding of the workforce that will shape the future of the life sciences industry,” said Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). “BIO was pleased to host the release of this important analysis at our BIO Digital event and to have the opportunity to dive deeper into the latest trends in biotechnology employment. The new report provides a timely and informative snapshot of our industry’s workforce needs, best practices, and can serve as a roadmap for building the types of diverse and inclusive teams that are critical to the long-term success of our sector.”

The report is supported in part by InnovATEBIO, a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program-funded Center that supports a national network of community college biotechnology education programs that are training entry-level technicians for the biosciences industry.

“The NSF ATE Program has supported nationally coordinated community college training programs for the life science industry since 1998,” stated Dr. Celeste Carter, lead program director, ATE Program. “This report supports and highlights the critical importance of preparing the skilled technical workforce for the biosciences industries.”

“The 2021 report is an important launch point for discussion about how multiple stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector can work together to prepare the pipeline of talent needed to sustain critical innovation in our industry,” said Liisa Bozinovic, CSBI chair and executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association. “We look forward to launching a series of discussions beginning this fall aimed at building these important collaborations.”

In addition to quantitative analysis of over 2.5 million unique job postings from life science companies over the last four years, the analysis includes hiring surveys from nearly 700 companies and 200 interviews with life science executives collected across 18 states and Puerto Rico during the first quarter of 2021. The following trends emerging from these data are explored in the 2021 report:

  • The life science industry’s continued economic resilience: Increasing hiring and talent demand despite the challenges of a global pandemic
  • The pandemic forced a seismic shift to remote work for many industry employees, and after facing daunting initial hurdles, many companies are embracing the change and finding advantages in remote or hybrid operations
  • Life sciences companies are elevating commitments to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry as a strategic priority
  • Life sciences industry-academic partnerships remain vibrant and critical to meeting the talent challenge and industry inclusion goals.

Download key findings and full report at https://www.csbioinstitutes.org/.

About the Coalition for State Biotech Institutes (CSBI)

The Coalition for State Biotech Institutes is dedicated to ensuring America’s leadership in bioscience innovation by delivering industry-led life science education and workforce development programs through a nationally coordinated effort. Programs are uniquely positioned for life science industry to deliver, replicable in states across the U.S., extensible to other STEM industry sectors and are fully aligned with emerging K-12 Common Core Learning Standards. Learn more at www.csbioinstitutes.org.


Maria Thacker, Georgia Bio