Arizona life science sector has economic impact of $38.54B

Business News | 3 Nov |

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) today released new data on the bioscience industry in the United States. The report includes individual fact sheets for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which can be found alongside the full report and interactive map at www.bio.org/jobs.  AZBio uses this data and additional federally reported data to build its statewide progress report. The brand-new data shows the Arizona life science sector had an economic impact of $38.54 billion in 2021.


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The new BIO/TEConomy report, The U.S. Bioscience Industry: Fostering Innovation and Driving America’s Economy Forward, examines the bioscience industry’s economic performance and its footprint across the nation and individual states during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some key takeaways:

• The nation’s bioscience industry employed 2.1 million employees across more than 127,000 U.S. business establishments in 2021. Arizona’s bioindustry employed 236,410 employees across 2,912 AZ business establishments. (Up 32.4% over 2018)

• As the overall economy shed 1.5% of it’s job base, the biosciences industry increased employment by 11% since 2018. Arizona’s bioindustry increased employment by 21.8% over 2018 and double the national growth rate.

• In total, the bioscience industry’s economic impact on the U.S. economy amounted to $2.9 trillion dollars in 2021, as measured by overall output. Arizona’s bioindustry’s share of this economic impact, based on the state’s share of wages & employment, was $38.52 billion in 2021.

• Biotech companies – especially small – and mid-sized – undertook a monumental effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics; there are 747 novel compounds in development currently.

“This data highlights the vital role U.S. bioscience companies have in creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The report further shows the industry’s enormous role in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of getting life-saving therapies and vaccines to patients, as well as economic recovery,” said Pete Pellerito, BIO Senior Policy Adviser for Federal and State Economic Development and Technology Transfer Initiatives.

“Even during the pandemic, bioscience employment grew as other industrial sectors faltered. Looking forward, the industry will continue to play a critical role, not only in addressing global health challenges but in helping to grow the U.S. economy by generating high-quality jobs,” said Ryan Helwig, Principal and Project Director with TEConomy Partners.

“Arizona has consistently been one of the fastest growing, emerging life science sectors for over a decade,” shared Joan Koerber-Walker, president & CEO of the Arizona Bioindustry Association, Inc. (AZBio). “AZBio’s vision is that Arizona will rise in the rankings and grow to be a top-10 life science state.  AZBio’s mission is to help Arizona get there.”

Arizona is not yet in the Top 10 by national measures.

Population is a key economic driver for the life science industry, especially as it relates to the delivery of health services in the local market. Arizona currently ranks 14th for population in the United States.

The state currently ranks 20th nationally for Economic Impact; 14th in the number of firms (establishments); 22nd in employment;  and 25th in the funding/investment metrics for Venture Capital, NIH Funding, and Academic R&D.

“Arizona’s ability to take its place in the top-10 will be strongly correlated with our ability to improve our performance relative to Arizona’s funding/investment metrics.”, shared  Koerber-Walker. “That is why AZBio has made significant investments in supporting the creation of AZAdvances  within the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation. With a focus on workforce development, entrepreneurial support, and investment, AZAdvances will drive Arizona’s growth in this vital sector delivering both economic impact and social impact.”

The State of Arizona is also making significant investments in growing its life science sector, this investments include the Technology & Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) and the recent creation of the Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund within the Arizona State Treasurer’s office which became effective in September, 2022.

“Arizonans now have the opportunity to work together as industry, philanthropy, and public partners to fully fund AZAdvances and the Arizona Health Innovation Trust Fund so that Arizona discoveries progress to become health innovations that benefit people in Arizona and around the world,” said Koerber-Walker.

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