Saturday, June 19, 2010

Top 10 Regions for Biotech

Most industries with high fixed costs and low variable costs tend to cluster in a handful of areas, while those with low fixed costs and high variable costs can go anywhere. An example is semiconductors, an industry which is heavily concentrated in a few places, while technology consultants can be found just about anyplace.

As a high fixed cost/low variable cost industry, biotech is clustering too. I don't like using NAICS codes to determine industry concentrations, because they're often slow to adjust to new company categories, so to figure out the top 10 regions for biotech, I did some searches for biotech and biotechnology jobs. Results are below, with each region's share of total U.S. biotech job openings. Now, in the spirit of the recent NCAA conference shifts, where "10" can mean 11, 12, 14, or whatever makes sense for the TV deal, I've actually included the top 12 regions, because there is a big dropoff after #12, with region after #12 accounting for more than 1% of U.S. biotech positions. Sales jobs, many of which are for remote offices across the country, are excluded.

1. Boston 19.25%
2. San Francisco/San Jose 12.85%
3. NY/NJ 8.90%
4. Philadelphia 7.24%
5. Washington, DC 5.99%
6. Los Angeles/Orange County 5.39%
7. San Diego 3.83%
8. Chicago 3.03%
9. Raleigh/Durham 2.53%
10. Indianapolis 1.80%
11. Seattle 1.48%
12. Minneapolis 1.47%

These 12 regions account for 74% of all biotech openings. The clustering is very strong, almost as strong as semiconductors, where the SF Bay Area comes in at close to 30% of all national job listings for that industry.

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