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The MedZilla Report: May 2009 Employment Outlook for Biotech/Pharma/Health
Date:6/24/2009

Health care employment rebounded in May, with 24,000 new jobs created even amid widespread announcements of layoffs. Pharmaceutical companies, though, laid off fewer employees in May than in any previous month of 2009.

Seattle, WA (Vocus) June 24, 2009 -- Health care employment saw May as something of a rebound month, with 24,000 new jobs created in the industry -- 7,000 more than in April. Average monthly job growth has remained steady in 2009. However, heavy layoffs also struck health care, with several companies announcing as many as 500 positions eliminated. Pharmaceuticals, conversely, announced relatively few layoffs compared to the previous six months.

   

By far the largest layoff in May was announced by Medtronic, who, according to the Associated Press, faced a 69 percent drop in profits after fourth quarter 2008. Minnesota-based health systems continued feeling the pinch, as did several facilities across New England. New Jersey's Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield said a combination of factors including employers cutting the benefits they offer employees, which in turn affects the amount of money coming in to the insurer (The Star-Ledger, May 5, 2009). Most job elimination announcements came as a result of the downward trend in the United States economy, which has yet to turn around.
   
Despite layoffs, employers continued posting jobs on employment websites. New Jersey and Massachusetts both had substantial increases in the number of jobs posted -- 2.5 and 3.5 percent, respectively -- and no state saw a drop of more than one percent. The real change in postings came as a result of what types of jobs were posted; business development jobs, including research, were posted about 10 percent more overall than in April, while sales, marketing, and management positions all declined by an average of four percent. Meanwhile, employers actively sea
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