Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute releases GOED-commissioned research on Utah’s fast-growing life sciences industry

Pete CodellaBusiness

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute yesterday issued a landmark study of the economic impact of Utah’s life sciences industry. The report was commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

Highlights from the report include:

  1. The life science industry totaled 130,439 jobs, $7.6 billion in personal income, and $13.0 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the state in 2017.
  2. Companies within the industry, directly and indirectly, contribute 5.9 percent of the states’ personal income and 7.9 percent of its GDP in 2017.
  3. The life sciences industry workers receive 40-50 percent higher average pay than Utah’s average salary. It also, directly and indirectly, supports 6.7 percent of the state’s employment.
  4. From 2012 to 2017, Utah’s life science industry had the most significant job growth among the top 20 states with the most abundant life science industries.

The report also shows that the industry’s job growth rate has been consistently high over the past 15 years, growing by 14 percent from 2002 to 2007. The rate held steady during the Great Recession and then skyrocketed to 26 percent over the last five years.

“This is the first comprehensive economic impact study performed in the state focused exclusively on the life science industry,” said Clark Cahoon, GOED life sciences cluster director. “GOED and others will use it as a baseline to track progress. It’s exciting to see the momentum in the industry.”

Levi Pace, a senior research economist at the Gardner Policy Institute, is the lead author of the study. The full report is available online.