A 9.3 percent increase in pharma manufacturing jobs is expected to redress a 6.6 percent decrease in top executive positions over the next decade, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook (click for chart). The pharma industry, it projects, will grow to 307,000 employees--despite the many big-layoff indicators to the contrary--rising from the 289,000 counted for 2008.
The BLS projects overall pharma industry growth of 6.1 percent. This growth lags the expected 10.1 percent of the entire US economy, says Pharmaceutical Commerce magazine. But it positions pharma near the top of manufacturing sectors, which collectively are projected to fall by 9 percent in 2018.
Cost concerns among both drug makers and buyers will conspire to limit the growth driven by increasing product demand, BLS expects. Continuing improvements in manufacturing processes will improve productivity in pharmaceutical plants.
Pharma manufacturing wages are currently higher than manufacturing industry averages.