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Institute releases comprehensive study of the medical devices industry in Massachusetts

The medical device industry in Massachusetts is both an ongoing vital contributor and a stabilizing factor to the state's economy during the recent recession, providing high paying manufacturing jobs, contributing to total state exports, attracting significant amounts of venture capital investment and utilizing local suppliers, according to a new, detailed study released by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

The study, funded by MassMEDIC, the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council, is the most detailed analysis of the sector ever done in the state. The new data indicate that from 1997-2002 the annual shipments, an indicator of output for the industry, increased by 25 percent from $4 billion in 1997 to $5 billion in 2002. In addition, the total payroll of the medical device sector grew from $989 million in 1997 to $1.24 billion in 2002.

Other key findings include:

  • In 2003, fully 10 percent of all exports from Massachusetts were from the medical-devices cluster.
  • Medical-device exports in Massachusetts grew 36.9 percent between 2001 and 2003, an increase of over $498 million. In contrast, total exports from Massachusetts increased only 6.0 percent during the same period of time.
  • Massachusetts-awarded patents grew 24.5 percent over the past three years, which is the highest rate of growth among the competitor states.
  • Earnings are higher in medical instruments than in manufacturing or the economy as a whole. Median annual earnings of Massachusetts medical-instrument workers in 1999 was $39,400. Mean earnings were higher, at $50,211.
  • Median earnings for all U.S. medical-instrument workers in 1999 were $30,000, and mean earnings were $41,758. These were roughly $9,000 below those of Massachusetts workers.
  • In Massachusetts, average annual wages and salaries of the medical device sector grew from $50,900 in 1998 to $61,000 in 2002, a 4.6 percent annualized rate of growth. In the United States, during the same period there was a 4.2 percent annualized rate of growth.
  • From 1998 through 2002, in all of manufacturing, total payroll employment in Massachusetts declined at an annual rate of 4.4 percent, while in medical devices, it declined at a much slower annual rate of 0.2 percent.
  • The concentration of Ph.D.s in the Massachusetts medical-instrument workforce, at 2.8 percent, is over twice that of the U.S. industry as a whole.

The proportion of the medical-instrument workers in Massachusetts with a bachelor's or higher degree is 38.4 percent, compared to 27.0 percent of all workers in all manufacturing in the state, and 35.2 percent of workers within Massachusetts.


The Medical Device Industry in Massachusetts

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