Analysis of 2008’s shifting employment patterns

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New jersey United states

To accompany the map detailing job losses, which can be viewed here, we have picked out the details and trends from the data, uncovering the state of US pharmaceutical employment in 2008.

Breaking the figures down reveals that California has suffered the most cases of layoffs and facility closures, with over 50 per cent more events than the next most badly affected.

California’s plight appears to be a consequence of the large number of biotechs based in the state, which have struggled to find funding in the current financial climate.

Well over half of the job losses and closures plotted in Californian were for biotechs, with the majority of the others being diagnostic and device companies, reflecting biotech’s difficulties and the small proportion of small molecule manufacturers in the state.

California’s misery was compounded by the lack of new ventures in the state, with just one new lease taken out and one renewal.

Following California in the league table nobody wants to top is New Jersey, perhaps unsurprisingly given the sheer number of pharmaceutical companies based in the nation’s medicine chest.

Tied in joint third behind New Jersey are Indianapolis and New York, with a long tail of other states trailing behind these two.

In total the map plots 18 states that suffered from pharmaceutical job losses and facility closures in 2008, demonstrating the extent to which the difficulties facing the industry stretch beyond the recognised heartlands.

Bad year from coast to coast

The overall picture was grim for the industry, with three quarters of the events plotted representing job losses or facility closures.

This demonstrates the financial pruning that took place in 2008 but other nations may benefit from cutbacks in the US as companies outsource more and more of their operations.

However, for some of the companies closing facilities this year the problems run deeper, with small biotechs effectively hibernating until big pharma or venture capital resurrects them.

Financial analysts are predicting that credit will be hard to come by for some time, meaning the map for 2009 may follow a similar pattern to this year’s.

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