Where Will the New Jobs Come From?

Where Will the New Jobs Come From?

07.19.11 | By

I've been looking over the new report from the McKinsey Global Institute featured at today's Atlantic's CEO summit on "The New Work Era." The report is entitled "An Economy that Works: Job Creation and America's Future" and it looks at job creation and what kind of things we need to be doing both in the near and long-term to return to full employment.
The report notes, for instance, that we need to create around 21 million jobs by 2020 to return to full employment. The study suggests that six sectors illustrate the potential for job growth over the next decade. These include: healthcare, business services, leisure and hospitality, construction, manufacturing and retail.
Calling healthcare "pivotal" to achieving the high-growth needed to return the economy to full employment, the report suggests that it could add 5 million new jobs to the economy.
"This would stem from rising demand from the aging population and the addition of millions of newly insured Americans to the health care system. The scenario also assumes that innovative approaches to primary care, chronic disease management, and geriatric care would create new jobs."
My assumption is that this would - or should - also include jobs created by the biopharmaceutical research sector. Last week we wrote a lot about the new Battelle report highlighting the economic contributions of the sector. Battelle found that as of 2009 every biopharmaceutical research sector job supported nearly six jobs in biopharmaceutical research, manufacturing, construction as well as business services and child care providers.
In addition to the jobs currently supported directly, indirectly or induced by the biopharmaceutical sector, according to the report there is also the potential for many more employment gains both in and outside of the sector. A strong, growing American biopharmaceutical sector could continue creating jobs in every state of the country.
At the same time, the Battelle report also pointed to a number of warning signs about the fragility of sector jobs. Battelle concluded that a $20 billion per year reduction in sector revenues would result in 260,000 lost jobs across our economy.
The challenge remains how we build and maintain in this country a research and development environment that continues to promote and rewards innovation and expands patient access to the medicines and healthcare they need.

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