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June 10, 2024

Bioversity is a nonprofit launched in January out of MassBio to train underrepresented
groups to join the life sciences workforce.

by Hanna Green
Massachusetts’ life sciences job growth in 2023 slowed, but didn’t completely stall, as
the industry attempts to bounce back from a cooling period.

A new report from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd)
found that the state’s life sciences job growth dropped to just 2.5% in 2023. In
comparison, from 2020 to 2022, the average annual job growth for Massachusetts’ life
sciences sector was 7.8%.

MassBioEd, a nonprofit educational foundation established by trade group MassBio, tied
the slowdown to a general cooling of the biotech industry after the sector experienced a
boom during and immediately following the pandemic.

Layoffs and cost-cutting measures began rocking the biotech industry in 2023 and
have continued into 2024. The Business Journal found at least 67 Massachusetts life
science companies that laid off about 3,800 employees in 2023.

So far this year, Massachusetts biotechs have announced plans to cut more than 1,200

The report found that job postings by the Massachusetts life sciences industry increased
nearly 46% from 2021 to 2022, and then dropped by 33% from 2022 to 2023.

Despite this slowdown, Massachusetts is still doing better than most states. The state’s
life science employment continues to outpace national growth. Massachusetts had more
than 140,000 total life sciences jobs in 2023, up from 132,000 the year before.

More than 70% of those jobs are in drug and pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical
labs, or research, development and testing for biotech companies.

MassBioEd estimates that the state will add 38,000 new jobs by 2033. That’s slightly
down from MassBioEd’s decade-long outlook last year, which said the state could see
42,000 new jobs by 2032.Even with the slowing job market, MassBioEd predicts
Massachusetts won’t educate enough employees to fill open positions.

The report said there should be more than 5,700 average annual job openings in roles
like biotechnicians or medical lab technicians over the next decade. But right now, the
average annual supply from the state’s educational institutions only meets 61% of this

MassBioEd is one of several local organizations the city and state have charged with
boosting life sciences job training. The nonprofit was one of the recipients of
Boston’s Life Sciences Workforce Initiative, which awarded $4.7 million in grant
to train Bostonians for life sciences careers.

Another funding recipient, Bioversity, launched earlier this year out of MassBio to train
underrepresented groups to join the life sciences workforce
. It is headquartered in