New Jersey feels pain of pharma employment drop

A survey released yesterday shows a drop in employment of 1 percent in 2007 from the previous year across the 22 members of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, which include companies like Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche. Pharma layoffs are the reason for the dip.

The decline is small, but significant in light of industry growth overall.

As we all know, many big pharma companies call New Jersey home, and pharma is one of the key industries of state.

According to the survey, the total New Jersey payroll rose to $7.7 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent. Overall, the economic impact to the state increased by 3.8 percent to $27 billion in 2007. 

Nevertheless, members of the group say that they are spending more on research and development and working on new products and drugs. Spending increased by $7.9 billion and was up by 5.3 percent. The survey did not account for biotech companies or companies with pharma workers in New Jersey if the company was headquartered elsewhere.

In the meantime, there might be an additional pharma exodus or two planned from New Jersey, depending on current M&A activities, and California seems to be the hot place for big pharma to go.  Roche, for one, has said it too will move its headquarters to California if its deal with Genentech goes through.

--read the story at CNN Money 
--see what they're saying at
--find the Pharmalot blog post