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Economic Development

The Life Sciences Sector fuels the vitality of Washington state, increasing its standard of living through the economic, political, and social well-being of its citizens. To continue to drive our innovation economy we must combine our efforts to nurture entrepreneurism and boost creativity though continual leadership and vision.

In a recent report by the Chairman of the Council for American Medical Innovation, Richard A. Gephardt, "Medical innovation has traditionally been a cornerstone of a flourishing America, especially in Washington State. Besides keeping us healthy, the U.S. health-care industry provides good jobs: approximately 14 million jobs today and an expected 3 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016—more than any other industry—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Life Sciences in Washington

Washington state is a world-class epicenter for the life sciences and has been ranked as the fifth-largest life sciences cluster in the U.S. according to a recent Milken Institute study. We are home to dozens of research institutes and some of the nation’s leading public research universities. 


The life sciences industry forms an important and growing segment of Washington’s economic base. Various segments of the life sciences industry are estimated to directly employ over 34,000 people in the state, about two-thirds as many people as are employed in the software industry. Those life science jobs support 58,000 additional jobs throughout the state’s economy, so that the total employment impact is more than 92,000.


These jobs greatly impact the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and personal income. Altogether, the life sciences industry generated nearly $11 billion of GDP and $7 billion of personal income in 2011.


Over the course of 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the contribution by the life sciences sector continues to outpace Washington state’s total wage and salary statistics.

Click the image below to view a full PDF
 of the Trends in Washington's Life Sciences Industry 2015 Summary:

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