The Austin Technology Council (ATC) today released results of a study measuring the economic impact of the life sciences industry in Austin and surrounding communities including Round Rock and San Marcos. The study set out for the first time to define the life sciences sector in Central Texas, measure its current impact on the local economy in terms of gross regional product (GRP) and jobs, and identify key sector strengths.
- The life sciences sector contributes $1 billion in GRP to Central Texas.
- It represents 206 establishments and 6,000 jobs.
- The average wage in the life sciences sector is $75,209, compared to $49,557 for the regional economy as a whole.
- The Central Texas life sciences industry has a high concentration in R&D, representing over 50 percent of the jobs and $380 million in economic impact for the region.
The study identified 13 industries that make up the life sciences sector. Within that, the study looked at education requirements and average hourly wages for common occupations. While education requirements are significantly higher than the regional average with more than half (51 percent) of the life sciences jobs requiring a postsecondary degree, the study identified several standard occupations that pay between $13 and $20 per hour and require on-the-job training, and one category that pays more than $24 per hour with an associate’s degree.
“We were pleased to find that the life sciences sector presents a broad workforce development opportunity for our region,” said Gary Sabins, Chairman of the Board for ATC, and the President & CEO of Renascent Medical, Inc. “Austin has high hopes for its life sciences industry, as it should – there is immense economic and community impact at stake. The ATC and its Life Sciences Council plans to conduct subsequent studies that will enable our market to better serve and support the life sciences industry as it grows.”
Patrick Balthrop Sr., President and CEO of Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX), an Austin-based provider of healthcare and life sciences tools and technology, said, “Fostering early science education and development initiatives such as the University of Texas Medical School will ensure Central Texas’ growing prominence in the sector. It is estimated that the new medical school in Austin could generate over $2 billion in yearly spending and create over 15,000 jobs, not to mention enhanced health care outcomes and positive community impact. It’s a wise investment in our region’s future.”
This research was conducted as a project of the Austin Technology Council (ATC) under a contract with Civic Analytics LLC, an economic research and consulting firm based in Austin.
For more information and access to the full report, as well as more information on the 2014/15 roadmap of Austin’s tech and life sciences priorities, please visit: http://austintechnologycouncil.org.