Jun 22, 2022 - Business

Boston's life sciences talent pool outshines West Coast competition

A heat map with blue hotspots showing the top life sciences talent clusters with Boston at the top.

Boston comes out on top when it comes to the biotech workforce. Data: CBRE; Chart: Axios Visuals

​​The life sciences talent pool in Greater Boston outshines the competition in other major U.S. cities, according to a report published earlier this month by the CBRE, an investment management firm.

Driving the news: The Boston/Cambridge area came out No. 1 in CBRE's ranking of life sciences clusters, based on cities' jobs, local wages, cost of living and other factors.

  • Cities were ranked based on how their scores compared to the national averages for these variables, with Boston/Cambridge getting the top score of 138.
  • San Francisco came in second with 129.8, followed by Washington, D.C. with 126.2, according to the CBRE report.
  • The Greater Boston and San Francisco Bay areas are the nation's largest life sciences clusters, but the report also highlighted several pockets of talent beyond the coasts, including Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Houston and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Why it matters: Greater Boston's booming life sciences industry — which includes big names like Moderna, Biogen and Takeda Pharmaceuticals — has spurred economic growth and a wave of office-to-lab conversions.

By the numbers: The Boston area is home to more than 33,000 workers in the life sciences field, according to CBRE, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • 14,850 are medical scientists (not including epidemiologists).
  • 4,120 are biochemists and biophysicists.
  • The analysis also counts biological scientists, chemists, microbiologists, biological technicians and data scientists within the industry.
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