Georgia’s life science industry shows 14.9% employment growth over past decade

PRESS RELEASE – April 17, 2019 (Atlanta) – “The life sciences sector in Georgia is resilient and growing.” This according to a report released today by RTI International (RTI) for Georgia Bio. “ From 2007 to 2017, employment in life sciences grew by 14.9%, compared to 7.7% nationally, and 8.7% growth in private employment across all industries in the state.”

The report identified 1,960 unique life science establishments that contributed 68,300 jobs and $10 billion to Georgia’s Gross Domestic Product. Accounting for multiplier effects, the industry supports a total of approximately 194,000 jobs and contributes $21.8 billion to Georgia’s GDP. This represents 3.7% of Georgia’s total non-farm employment and 3.7% of Georgia’s 2016 GDP.

“The high potential for the life sciences industry to enhance both the economic and physical well being of all Georgians is a top reason Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute work hard to ensure the state’s educators and career development professionals can access the resources they need to ensure our workforce meets the needs of the fast growing, care-focused, high paying industry,” said Georgia Bio President and CEO Maria Thacker-Goethe.

The life sciences industry offers Georgians high-value jobs that are commensurate to education and experience. Of the 20 most common occupation types, 42% of jobs require a high school education or equivalent, while 32% require a bachelor’s degree. Of the 10 occupations projected to grow over the next decade, seven require postsecondary education, ranging from technical and associate’s degrees (4), bachelor’s degrees (2), and doctoral or professional degrees (1).

Thanks to a robust university research system and the presence of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), institutions based in Georgia received $549 million in NIH research funding in 2018. Moreover, annual NIH funding to those institutions has grown by 20% since 2010, more than double the national average of less than 8 percent.

“Since 2010, the number of federal small business research innovation grants for life science startups has doubled in Georgia,” said Russell Allen, President and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance. “With the ingenuity of our universities and the strong support from our government and industry we are seeing more life science inventions making their way from the lab to the marketplace and, most importantly, into the lives of Georgians.”

The full 2019 Georgia Life Sciences State of the Industry Report will be made fully public in the coming weeks. The state of the industry report is supported by funding from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Global Health Alliance, Georgia Research Alliance, Johnson & Johnson, PhRMA, UCB, Inc. and VWR, part of Avantor.

About Georgia Bio

Georgia Bio is the state’s trade association committed to driving growth in Georgia’s biosciences industry and its many sectors, including agri-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and technologies, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. Georgia Bio members include bioscience companies, academic and research institutions, bioscience service providers, digital health companies, and related organizations. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @Georgia_Bio.