Triangle’s demand for life science jobs ranks sixth among major markets, according to report

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WRAL TechWire features a story highlighting the NC Bio Jobs Hub initiative. Go to the Bio Jobs Hub for more stories and information about the life science job opportunities made possible by NC’s workforce training initiatives. This column was originally published in September 2021 and we are re-running it today. If you, like Mackenzie Dixon once, are considering a career change, check out this upcoming event.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The demand for talent to fill jobs ranks the triangle sixth as a “tech cluster” in the United States, according to a new study monitoring growth in the United States.

Commercial real estate firm CBRE ranks the Raleigh-Durham market only behind larger, more traditional life science centers like Boston, Washington, DC, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and San Diego. Numerous reports consistently rank the Triangle top for research, growth opportunities, and more in the life sciences. These new CBRE data show how much employment growth is happening here and nationally.

CBRE Executive Vice President Lee Clyburn cited several reasons why the Triangle is attracting jobs:

“The Raleigh-Durham workforce has been a strong driver in attracting and retaining life science companies in our market. Our market’s low cost of living compared to other major markets, coupled with its direct access to labor from local university systems, are major contributors to this workforce. This report highlights Raleigh-Durham’s overall talent and the benefits it offers to companies doing business here. “

According to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, North Carolina has “a highly skilled workforce of 70,000 people, a large community of 790 life science companies and 2,500 service providers, and a low cost of doing business, among many other competitive advantages. “.

Most of these jobs and businesses are located in and near the Triangle with numerous companies announcing expansions as early as this year.

The Triangle and the state also had a bountiful year in 2021. As reported by Barry Teater for the Biotech Center: “Nineteen major expansions, relocations or new facilities representing nearly $ 4 billion in investment and more than 4,000 jobs are been announced statewide. “

The CBRE report focused on life science professions such as bioengineers and biochemists, microbiologists and data scientists, noting that the demand for talent has grown 79% since 2001 to around 500,000 nationwide compared to an overall increase in 8% of all jobs.

Criteria of the report included: number of life science jobs and graduates, share of life sciences in the overall job and the pool of graduates in each market, number of life science PhD holders and concentration of jobs in the broader professions of professional, scientific and technical services, explained CBRE.

The main markets:

Rank Market Point Rank Market Point
1 Boston / Cambridge 138 14 Atlanta 103.5
2 Washington, DC / Baltimore 129.8 15 Worcester, MA 102.6
3 San Francisco Bay Area 126.2 16 Dallas / Fort Worth 102
4 New York / New Jersey 124.3 17 Sacrament 101.8
5 San Diego 120.3 18 Austin 101.5
6 Raleigh-Durham 114.8 19 Salt Lake City 101.4
7 Los Angeles / Orange County 113.8 20 New Haven, CT 100.8
8 Philadelphia 113.5 21 Portland, OR 100.7
9 Seattle 109.4 22 You love me 100.7
10 Chicago 107.6 23 Nashville 100.6
11 Denver / Boulder 106.9 24 Albany, New York 100.3
12 Minneapolis / St. Paul 106.4 25 Pittsburgh 100
13 Houston 104.1

Source: CBRE

A key strength for the Triangle is a growing number of people earning degrees in biological and biomedical sciences, CBRE added: “Raleigh-Durham notably produces significant PhDs in biological and biomedical sciences. 14.2 percent of all life sciences and biomedical degrees released in the market were at doctoral level.

Of those graduates, 2.9% earn a PhD, “the highest share of any major market,” CBRE said.

The lower cost of living helps

Despite the skyrocketing housing costs – for ownership and rent – the Triangle is also among the most affordable markets for workers. Raleigh-Durham only follows Houston.

“Salaries in life sciences do not vary geographically as much as those in many other sectors. However, the change in the cost of living from market to market means that some markets are cheaper for life science workers than others, ”CBRE said.

The biggest gap between average life science wages and the cost of living

Market Relationship between wages in life sciences and the cost of living Market Relationship between wages in life sciences and the cost of living
Houston 2.04 Minneapolis / St. Paul 1.79
Raleigh-Durham 1.99 Nashville 1.78
Atlanta 1.90 Chicago 1.76
Dallas / Fort Worth 1.86 Austin 1.76
Philadelphia 1.79 Sacrament 1.76

Source: CBRE

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