Los Angeles is on the rise and trails only the Bay Area among California markets when it comes to jobs in the life sciences sector, according to an industry report released last week.
The report from the California Life Sciences Association, a biosciences trade group based in San Francisco, was co-authored by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It found an estimated 58,400 people in Los Angeles were employed in an industry sector that includes biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and bioscience academic research.
The Bay Area, long the state’s No. 1 bioscience hub, led with 72,700 direct life sciences jobs. San Diego, previously ranked second, trailed Los Angeles with 46,000 jobs, followed by Orange County with 45,100 jobs.
Los Angeles lagged by some measures – the report found that life science workers in the Bay Area accounted for average yearly income of $118,000 apiece, compared with $114,000 in San Diego County, $89,000 in Orange County and $73,000 in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles also lagged on job growth in the sector, and remains in third place in terms of venture capital investments in life sciences, although there was strong growth from 2015 to 2016, the period covered in the report.
The number of life science jobs between 2015 and 2016 grew by 15.8 percent in San Diego, 6 percent in the Bay Area, 3.9 percent in Orange County and 0.2 percent in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, however, led state growth on venture capital investments in life sciences and digital health venture capital investment. Venture capital investment in the sector in Los Angeles surged 56.7 percent this year, to $564 million, but fell 60 percent in San Diego, from $1.1 billion to $688 million.
Venture capital investments in digital health in Los Angeles rose a whopping 66.7 percent to $204 million from $68 million.
Meanwhile, two Los Angeles universities were among the leading recipients of NIH funding for life sciences. UCLA this year received $381 million and the University of Southern California received $208 million, according to the report.
The report concluded that the California overall is home to the largest life sciences cluster in the world, and it continues to outpace other states in life science-related economic growth, venture funding and National Institutes of Health research grants.
“The life sciences industry is a shining example of how California is a driver in innovation,” said Gov. Jerry Brown, in an introduction to the study. “The industry, which began just 50 years ago, has made great strides to put California at the forefront of the biotech revolution.”
Biopharmaceutical and medical device employment in California grew 7.7 percent between 2012 and 2016. During the same period, such jobs in New York fell by 2 percent.
Highlights of the state’s $169 billion life sciences market include 299,000 residents directly employed by an industry that pays $113,000 in annual wages, fueled by $6.7 billion in venture capital and $3.8 billion in federal grants, the report said.
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