California’s life science sector is a major player in the state’s job creation and economic development. In 2016, life science companies in California employed more than 360,000 professionals. In 2018, the Biocom Institute and the California Life Sciences Institute surveyed many of these employers and examined 9,900 statewide life science job postings to assemble a report on California Workforce Trends in the Life Science Industry. It’s the organizations’ third report on the subject since 2014, and it serves as a handy snapshot of employment drivers within the industry as well as challenges facing employers as they try to develop and engage staff and address evolving company and societal needs.

BioSpace recently sat down with the executives from both institutes to take a closer look at some of the report’s data and get their take on the current life science industry employment environment in California.

BioSpace: How would you describe today’s life science job market in California?

Lori Lindburg, President and CEO of the California Life Sciences Institute: As in years past, the life science industry continues to be a tremendous job engine for the state of California. As you see in the report, it employs well over 300,000 individuals, and that number is actually closer to 1 million if you count all the positions that support the industry.