Listen Live The Ideas Network Program Schedule Program Notes NPR News & Music Network Program Schedule Music Playlists All Classical Network Program Schedule Music Playlists WPR Coronavirus In Wisconsin An employee examines COVID-19 tests. An employee examines COVID-19 tests. The pandemic has helped accelerate the growth of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry. Jeremias Gonzalez/AP Photo Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is growing quickly, fostering innovation

Over the last four years, Wisconsin’s biohealth industry has grown and become a leading economic driver for the state.

Last year, it had an economic impact of $32 billion and generated $1.2 billion in state and local taxes, according to a recent third-party report released by the BioForward Wisconsin advocacy group.

The report says job growth in the industry significantly outpaced the state’s overall job growth rate since 2018. However, advocates say investment in higher education is essential for the sector’s continued growth.

Biohealth includes industries like academic research, pharmaceuticals, technology development, manufacturing and digital health.

While Wisconsin saw private sector jobs decline by 2.7 percent from 2018 to 2021, the biohealth industry saw job growth of 10.6 percent, the report said.

The sector employs about 77,000 people, with an average annual wage of $96,000, according to the study. In addition, the report said the full impact of biohealth employment reaches almost 129,000 jobs throughout Wisconsin.

Although primarily concentrated around Madison and Milwaukee, the sector has an impact on several regions across the state, including Green Bay, Sheboygan, Eau Claire and La Crosse, according to the report.

BioForward Wisconsin CEO Lisa Johnson said biohealth is helping to drive innovation and lead the state’s recovery from the pandemic.

“This strong growth, high wages, expanding career opportunities and impressive innovation in the biohealth sector are just what the state needs amidst current economic challenges and headwinds,” she said.

 

Read full story at https://www.wpr.org/wisconsins-biohealth-industry-growing-quickly-fostering-innovation