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Survey: Life sciences industry shows increases in R&D and capital spending but decrease in employees

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The life sciences industry is contributing to a rising share of New Jersey's economy despite a relatively weak recovery, survey data from a sample of companies show.

Member companies of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey contributed $26.6 billion to the state's economy in 2012, up 9.9 percent from 2010, according to a news release today. HINJ CEO Dean Paranicas said the study, conducted with global consulting firm Deloitte, skipped a year in 2011 to revise its methodology.

Results also show increased spending on research and development, vendor, and capital spending. At the same time, those companies report employing 2.8 percent fewer people in 2012 than two years ago. Survey participants fell from 19 to 16 over that time.

Paranicas said the overall trends are encouraging given the generally slow recovery. "I think our industry has demonstrated flexibility and dexterity in face of challenging economic circumstances," he said.

HINJ, a New Brunswick-based advocate for the biopharmaceutical industry, partners with Deloitte to compile research annually on its member companies, who participate voluntarily. HINJ members represent the biopharmaceutical and medical technologies industries. Biotech companies tend to belong to a separate organization, BioNJ.

Other results from 2012 show:

- Research and development spending by HINJ companies rose to $8.7 billion in 2012, up 2.6 percent over 2010. HINJ companies also reported 1,067 products in development, up113 percent from 2010.

- Member companies reported New Jersey-related vendor spending rose to $3.9 billion in 2012, up 26 percent form 2010.

- HINJ members spent nearly $1.8 billion on capital spending statewide, including renovation, maintenance, new construction and purchase, up 157 percent from 2010.

One area that declined was full-time employment. HINJ members employed 50,176 full-time employees in New Jersey, a 2.8 percent decrease from 2010, a trend that likely reflects fewer survey participants. Contract employees rose to 14,638, up 84 percent from 2010. HINJ also said "spin off" jobs — defined as employment at service and supply vendors that do business with HINJ — rose to 71,948 in 2010, up 20 percent from 2010.

The life sciences industry continues to be a well compensated. Employees of HINJ member companies grew to $156,208 compensation in 2012, up 3.5 percent from 2010. The average base salary for full-time employees was $123,864, up 9.8 percent increase from 2010, while average benefits were $35,288, up13.5 percent increase from 2010.

HINJ members also increased philanthropy, providing more than $583 million to New Jersey nonprofit organizations in areas like health care, education and culture, as well as disaster relief. That marked a 263 percent increase over 2010.

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