Oklahoma bioscience sector employment slips in last decade, report says

A report by Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization said biotech jobs pay more than average in Oklahoma, and the sector directly employs more than 8,800 people.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: June 26, 2012

Employment in the Oklahoma bioscience sector fell slightly in the past decade, but it remains among the higher-paying industry clusters in the state, according to a national survey.

The report by Battelle/Biotechnology Industry Organization said more than 8,800 Oklahomans were employed in the biosciences in 2010, a fraction of the state's 1.16 million private-sector jobs. Oklahoma had more than 1,055 businesses doing some type of work in biosciences.

Employment in the biosciences fell by 1.3 percent from 2001 to 2010. Oklahoma ranks fourth out of five tiers among the states for bioscience jobs, the report said. But bioscience jobs pay an average annual wage of $65,000 in Oklahoma, compared to an average of $38,000 for the rest of the private sector.

Nationally, jobs in bioscience grew by 6 percent to 1.6 million from 2001 to 2010. Even during the recent economic recession, industry employment fell by 1.4 percent, compared with a decline of almost 7 percent for the rest of the private sector.

“While not immune from the global recession, the bioscience industry has demonstrated that it is a generally strong and steady job generator, growing jobs over the past decade at a pace well above the national average,” the report stated. “It also has fared much better than the overall economy through the recent U.S. recession and into the first year of the recovery.”

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