New Report: America's biopharmaceutical industry supports 4.7 million jobs

Nick McGee   |     March 1, 2018   |   SHARE THIS

Every day, America’s biopharmaceutical sector supports the jobs of 4.7 million men and women across the country while working to discover and deliver new treatments and cures for patients across the country and around the world.

This commitment to pioneering tomorrow’s breakthroughs is felt far beyond scientists’ labs and doctors’ offices. Developing a new medicine is a collaborative endeavor that supports workers in a variety of areas, ranging from the doctors who guide patients through clinical trials to the truck drivers who deliver the final products to pharmacies. These economic effects ripple through our local, state and national economies by supporting millions of jobs and generating significant outputs in communities across the U.S.

A new report prepared for PhRMA by TEConomy Partners, LLC, highlights the substantial impact of the biopharmaceutical sector on national and local economies – how the discovery, development and delivery of innovative medicines translates into high-wage jobs, significant tax revenues and growing economic outputs for America’s communities.

Highlights from the report include:

  • More than 4.7 million U.S. jobs and counting. The industry is a job multiplier – for every direct industry job there are five additional jobs indirectly supported by the industry.
  • More than $1.3 trillion in economic output. In 2015, the biopharmaceutical sector produced over $584 billion in goods and services in the U.S. and supported an additional $735 billion through its vendors, suppliers and economic activity of its workforce.

  • Higher annual average compensation. Employees in direct biopharmaceutical industry jobs earned an average salary of $129,527 in 2015 – that’s more than twice the national average of $58,603 for all other U.S. jobs. Americans employed by the biopharmaceutical sector earned more than $350 billion in wages and benefits.

  • One-third of workers in STEM occupations. One-third of the biopharmaceutical sector’s workers are in critical science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations.


Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has solidified its place as the leading biopharmaceutical innovator worldwide. Today, that global leadership is propelled by innovative U.S. companies that work across a diverse and large-scale supply chain to provide patients with lifesaving and quality-of-life-improving treatments and cures. From the biopharmaceutical scientists working in labs to the employees on the front lines of manufacturing and distribution, each and every biopharmaceutical sector worker plays an instrumental role.

Learn more about the economic impacts in the U.S., each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Explore the full report with detailed findings and methodology.

Nick McGee

Nick McGee Nick McGee is a director, public affairs, at PhRMA focusing on communications strategies and activities for the organization’s state advocacy priorities. Prior to joining PhRMA in 2017, he worked as a Capitol Hill communicator and congressional campaign advisor. Nick is a native Hoosier and struggling Indianapolis Colts fan. Nick and his wife are foodies who love to travel, cheer on the Nationals and hang out with their goldendoodle, Tucker.

Topics: Economic Impact

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