A report released Monday suggests job growth in biotech and medical technology, a top focus of the Patrick Administration, has been modest at best over the past five years and has come at the expense of other research and development industries.
The study, prepared by the Pioneer Institute, a nonpartisan but fiscally conservative research group, challenges findings by other researchers and claims by the Patrick administration’s that its 10-year, $1 billion life sciences initiative has fueled a key sector of the state’s economy. Instead, the Pioneer report says, the state created just 571 direct jobs in life sciences industries from its launch in 2009 through the third quarter of last year, the most recent period for which data is available.
“What we’re saying is this approach of targeted incentives to companies, of a state agency picking winners and losers, has not worked. It has not created many jobs,” said Gregory W. Sullivan, research director at the Pioneer Institute and the former Massachusetts inspector general.
He said other states have used similar incentives more effectively, especially California, where the public subsidies have been more aggressive and broader based.
The report’s conclusion appears at odds with the findings of several other state and industry studies, including one released just last week by economists at Northeastern University who used a more expansive definition of the life sciences sector. They reported that between 2006 and 2012, Massachusetts gained 11,377 direct jobs in the life sciences research, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment sectors, and another 6,617 indirect jobs related to those fields.
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