Medical device makers in California resilient through recession, but hiring remains sluggish

January 7, 2013 by MassDevice staff

Employment in California's medical device industry remains relatively stable during the great recession, according to a report by California Healthcare Institute.

Layoffs illustration

Medical device makers in California shed fewer than 2% of their workforce over the last 5 years, suggesting that the industry remained relatively resilient during the great recession, according to a new report by the California Healthcare Institute.

The medical device industry shrank from 73,119 employees in 2007 to 71,947 in 2011, a change of about 1.6%.

Most of the job losses came during the height of the financial collapse of 2008, according to the report, released at the 2013 J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco.

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California serves as a bellwether for the medical device industry, as it is home to the largest medical device cluster in the U.S., with more employees in the space than Massachusetts and Minnesota combined.

A survey of CEOs provided by CHI found that most of the companies that shed jobs did so because of cost cutting initiatives and challenges in the general business environment. Other cited reasons for cutbacks included the cost of doing business in California and economic uncertainty.

Data from the report, which was taken from the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, didn't include 2012 numbers and the spate of layoffs that occurred last year. More than 7,000 jobs were cut from publicly traded medical device companies in 2012, according to published reports.