A San Diego life sciences startup. Courtesy CONNECT

San Diego’s life sciences industry is part of a growth sector making a “profound impact” on California’s economy, employing 72,000 people and generating $27.7 billion.

That was the assessment of Biocom California, the trade organization for the state’s life sciences industry, in an annual economic report.

“The 2021 Economic Impact Report is a refreshed analysis and vital barometer of the profound impact that the life science industry has in California,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom.

He said the industry grew 0.5% last year amid the pandemic, even as other sectors of the California economy declined by 7%.

“Overall, the work the industry undertakes every day has a significant economic impact on California, providing high-paying jobs across the state that contribute to the economic health of our communities,” Panetta said.

In San Diego County, the report found 1,295 separate firms directly employing 72,000 and supporting another 178,000 jobs for overall economic impact of $27.7 billion. In addition, the county receives $1.2 billion in funding from the Nation Institutes of Health for advanced research.

The San Francisco Bay Areas continues to have the highest concentration of life sciences firms and jobs, with Los Angeles County and San Diego County vying for second place in the state.

Overall, the industry supports 1.38 million jobs in California and generates $131 billion in economic value.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.