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Defibrillating employment in biosciences

Minnesota State Roundup

July 1, 2006

Defibrillating employment in biosciences

Minnesota is well-known as a hub for medical device and other bioscience kinds of businesses. Home to 425 bioscience firms today, the industry nonetheless appears to have hit a rough spot in terms of employment during the late 1990s and early into this decade—ironically, a period that saw the media, Wall Street and state governments pay particular attention to this emerging industry.

A report by the state's own industry association, the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, found that employment among the top 10 states in this sector grew in nine of 10 states from 1997 to 2002, and by 18 percent or more in eight states. Only one state saw negative employment growth. Yep, Minnesota.

The report did not investigate the reasons for the employment drop, but did note a bit of good-rebound news: Jobs in the sector from 2002 to 2005 were estimated to have grown by about 4,000, or roughly 14 percent, though the report did not make comparable estimates for other states.

Ronald A. Wirtz