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The MedZilla Report: June 2009 Employment Outlook for Biotech/Pharma/Health
Date:7/22/2009

The hallmark of layoff announcements in health care has always been a statement on the order of "layoffs will not affect patient care", but the question remains: how many more people can be laid off before that is unavoidable? MedZilla.com's monthly employment report examines that trend, as well as announcing an increase of more than 20,000 jobs in health care.

Seattle, WA (Vocus) July 22, 2009 -- As the second quarter came to a close last month, companies nationwide scrambled to get somewhere close to their bottom-line projections. With the continuing economic problems in the United States -- which many experts now call an outright recession -- companies are still required to cut back on their biggest expense: their employees. In June, pharmaceutical companies increased layoffs, though most layoffs came from health care. Despite that, health care employment increased overall by 21,000 people, which is the average for the first two quarters of 2009.

Generally, hospital systems have continued eliminating jobs and leaving open jobs unfilled due to loss of profits, an increase in uninsured patient care, and a decrease in reimbursements from insurance companies including Medicare and Medicaid. As for pharmaceutical companies, many are scaling back their research efforts due to the heavy costs involved in bringing a new medication from development to market. The largest cut in June came from Oscient Pharmaceuticals in Massachusetts, as they announced the elimination of 150 sales representatives along with 30 additional marketing and corporate positions (The Boston Globe, 6/12/09).

Interestingly, Massachusetts was also home to the biggest month-to-month jump in candidate search activities -- that is, companies actively seeking out new employees. They topped eight percent. Three states increased by more than three percent, and three more by more than two. Illinois-based companies
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