Health care and life sciences sectors generate $84B in economic impact, study says

The health care and life sciences sectors in central Indiana account for one out of every 10 jobs here, or 164,144 workers, with an economic impact of $84 billion, according to a new study.

The jobs pay an average of $77,229, according to the report, commissioned by BioCrossroads, an Indianapolis-based group that promotes and invests in the state’s life-sciences sector.

The two sectors have often been considered among the highest drivers in the central Indiana economy, with companies such as drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co., medical equipment maker Roche Diagnostics, device maker Cook Medical, and numerous hospital systems, such as Indiana University Health and Community Health Network.

They also include numerous small life sciences companies, including many trying to commercialize research breakthroughs made at Indiana’s research universities.

The new 70-page report gives more analysis to how much the sectors have invested in the regional economy, and how they compare to other industries by head count, wages and other metrics.

The study, released last week, says the health care and life sciences sectors account for more jobs than the restaurant and hotel industry (124,987), retail (123,528), transportation and logistics (93,142), financial and insurance (74,987), and software and information technology (38,851).

The study also says that spending on research and development was an estimated $8.6 billion, and that commercial construction projects under way will account for $2.27 billion in projected capital spending between 2019 and 2023.

“These investments help ensure Hoosiers have access to high quality healthcare services and support innovation, economic development, and educational opportunities for not only the healthcare and life sciences sector, but also our manufacturing, technology and retail sectors,” said Patty Martin, president and CEO, BioCrossroads, in written remarks.

The report says the health care and life sciences sectors indirectly support 331,000 workers, including vendors and retailers who depend on money spent on their products and services.

“The sector is expected to continue to grow, with projections noted herein for 27,000 jobs to be added in the forthcoming decade based on observable trends,” said the report, prepared by TEConomy, a business research firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

It added: “This growth, however, could be higher if the ecosystem positively responds to forces of change and the opportunities presented for growth in healthcare products and services, especially those rooted in new technologies in genomics, gene editing, regenerative medicine, synthetic biology, advanced health data analytics, personalized medicine, and other emerging fields of opportunity.”

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