The economic recovery has been slow going in the U.S. as the housing market and persistently high unemployment have proven particularly stubborn.
That’s why we were surprised, after looking at the employment numbers in our MassDevice Big 100 database, to find that only 3 of the largest 15 med-tech makers wound up cutting their global workforces last year.
Of the 5 largest businesses on our list, all pure-play medical device companies, only Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) cut jobs. The others – Essilor International (EPA:EI), Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), Stryker (NYSE:SYK) and St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) – all added to their employment rolls, with French prescription and contact lens maker Essilor leading the charge with a whopping 40% addition.
But the biggest surprise for us was the company that grew the most: Smiths Medical, which boosted its roster by 51% in 2011.
Here’s how the numbers play out, ranked according to percentage change in employment between 2011 and 2012 using figures from the MassDevice Big 100 database:
You can drill down further into the data with the MassDevice Big 100 Deluxe for just $79.99, which includes in-depth interviews with some of med-tech’s most interesting CEOs.