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Utah’s life sciences and health care innovation industry creates substantial economic impacts

Salt Lake City—Utah’s life sciences and health care innovation (life sciences) industry creates substantial economic impacts across the state through high-paying jobs at companies in research, testing, and medical laboratories; medical devices and diagnostics; biosciences-related distribution; and therapeutics and pharmaceuticals.

A new report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute details how the industry generates significant employment, earnings, and GDP impacts statewide in addition to offering high wages and strong job growth. The life sciences industry employs a diverse workforce and supports over $500 million in net positive fiscal impacts to state and local governments each year.

Key findings from the report include the following:

Employment – Utah’s life sciences industry directly provided an estimated 54,959 jobs and indirectly supported an additional 127,424 jobs in other industries in 2022.

Earnings – Estimated average annual earnings for life sciences workers ($96,000) are nearly 50% higher than earnings for workers in other industries ($65,000). Utah’s life sciences industry supported $14.6 billion in earnings in 2022 from direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts.

GDP – In 2022, life sciences companies created an estimated $8.0 billion in GDP in Utah, part of the industry’s statewide total economic impact of $21.6 billion in GDP.

State and Local Government Impacts – Life sciences companies generated a net positive fiscal impact of $526.1 million in 2022. This amount includes tax revenues that life sciences companies and workers paid directly or generated indirectly in Utah. The net fiscal impact calculation subtracted additional demand for state, county, municipal, and school district expenditures related to the life sciences industry.

Job Growth – From 2012 to 2022, the number of jobs in Utah’s life sciences industry increased by 5.1% per year on average versus 3.5% in other states and 3.4% in other Utah industries. Utah’s 10-year average job growth in life sciences ranks third out of the 20 states with the largest life sciences employment.

Workforce Demographics – In Utah, workers in the life sciences industry are more racially and ethnically diverse than workers in other industries, and a similar share of women work in life sciences compared to other industries.

University Innovation and Commercialization – The National Institutes of Health provided $279.2 million in statewide funding in FY 2022, primarily for life sciences research at Utah’s two R1 institutions. The University of Utah received 87.6% of the total, and Utah State University received 3.4%. Researchers at these universities were awarded 824 life sciences patents and launched 35 life sciences startups from 2018 to 2022.

The report is also available online.

Contact: Nick Thiriot, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, [email protected], 801-842-9150

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute serves Utah by preparing economic, demographic, and public policy research that helps the state prosper. We are Utah’s demographic experts, leaders on the Utah economy, and specialists on public policy and survey research. We are an honest broker of INFORMED RESEARCH, which guides INFORMED DISCUSSIONS, and leads to INFORMED DECISIONSTM. For more information, please visit or call 801-587-3717.

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