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May 20, 2024
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Life Sciences Employment Accelerates, Doubling in Size Over the Last 10 Years


This report was provided by real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield

Life sciences employment in the U.S. has grown at an accelerated pace, doubling in size over the last 10 years and outpacing total employment with an annual growth rate of 6.6% vs. the 1.2% annual average for total U.S. employment, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s new Life Sciences Update.

The report provides a big-picture overview of the life sciences sector including labor, real estate fundamentals, funding and demand drivers, and also contains a local market-by-market analysis, providing detailed overviews of key life sciences markets across the globe.

“Growth in demand for life sciences employees has mirrored lab space inventory growth as employers race to meet the needs of this growing sector,” said Sandy Romero, Research Manager. “Current projects under construction in the U.S. are expected to add an additional 26.6 msf of lab space to existing inventory. These brand new, state-of-the-art facilities across major markets will provide a home for future talent and next generation life science innovations."

Competition for talent in an overall very tight labor market heated up in the life sciences sector with postings for life sciences jobs at currently double the pre-pandemic levels. In the U.S. year-to-date through August 2022, there have been a total of 413,120 life sciences occupation postings, a 28% increase from the same period last year.

The life sciences sector is well positioned to weather the uncertainty brought on by periods of economic slowdown. Employment in the U.S. has been resilient in previous recessions, with minor drops during the Dot-Com Recession and Great Financial Crisis. Additionally, life sciences employment did not falter during the pandemic. There was only one month of job losses (April 2020 declined by -0.1%) and year-over-year job growth was +11.4% in 2021 and +14.5% as of June 2022.

“Following extraordinary investment, expansion, and innovation in 2021, the life sciences industry is poised for further growth and consistent demand in the years ahead,” said Jason D’Orlando, Senior Managing Director, Life Sciences, Project and Development Services. “The life sciences industry has experienced outsized growth over the last seven years, and fundamentals remain strong. We anticipate the life sciences sector will continue to perform well in coming years.”

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