U.S. life sciences firms are facing challenges finding enough talent to fill open positions despite record numbers of biological and biomedical graduates entering the workforce. In response, they are tapping established and emerging life science markets nationwide for more researchers and other professionals. To find out where, we analyzed 74 U.S. markets, looking at labor pool size, talent pipeline, salary trends and more.
Key Takeaways:
• The life sciences research talent pipeline has grown 79% over the past 20 years, including a record 163,000 biological and biomedical degrees issued in 2020 alone, but is not keeping pace with the needs of fast-growing life sciences firms.

• Not surprisingly, the preponderance of research talent exists along the East Coast, stretching from Boston/Cambridge to Raleigh-Durham, as well as the West Coast, anchored by the San Francisco Bay Area.

• Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Minneapolis/St. Paul also have large talent pools, and there are rapidly emerging pools in smaller markets like Salt Lake City, Nashville, Columbus, Albuquerque and Tucson.

• Life sciences research salaries are materially higher than the U.S. average and are relatively consistent regardless of different cost of living in various local markets. As such, companies may not realize meaningful financial benefits by targeting talent in cities with lower living costs.
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