Spotlight: The 2021 Life Sciences Workforce Trends Report for California

Big4Bio sponsors Biocom and CLS have published a joint report, 2021 Life Sciences Workforce Trends, which includes the most pressing current and projected talent needs of California’s life sciences industry, a constantly-leading driver of employment across the state.

The three foundational datasets described, include the number of job postings from January 2017 to December 2020, hiring survey responses and insights from executive interviews. This year’s report also includes key findings surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic response and how diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) impacted talent and hiring dynamics.

California’s life sciences industry continues to be a leading employer and driver of economic growth for the state, creating 385,203 unique job opportunities from January 2017 through December 2020. Three industry subsectors accounted for 91% of the total job postings, which included drug and pharmaceutical (36%), medical devices and equipment (29%), and research testing and medical laboratories (26%). During this time, the overall number of life science job postings across the state increased 20%, despite disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to a 16.5% decrease in the number of jobs from 2019 to 2020 across all industries.

Key findings from the 2021 California Workforce Trends report that are impacting California’s demand for talent are:

  • California’s life sciences industry remains resilient amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating stability and growth over the last three years.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic directly changed how companies view work and the workplace, leading to more adoption of remote work and other workforce management innovations.
  • Strong soft skills are increasingly viewed as predictors of career success. Adaptability, resilience and communication are the top desired skills as employers navigate uncharted economic and industry transitions.
  • New and amplified initiatives are focused on supporting DE&I across the life sciences industry with a broad recognition that more must be done to create lasting change.
  • There is new energy behind academic collaborations to address shifting demands for talent.

Full Report