MedZilla.com Releases its November Employment Outlook Numbers for Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare & Science

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In the month of November, employer searches for clinical research associates increased sharply, while most other positions remained flat in both supply and demand. The MedZilla.com Employment Report analyzes the numbers for November 2007 and announces the findings.

if you are considering a career in pharmaceuticals or medical devices, it might be prudent to consider other options like healthcare delivery, scientific or clinical research, marketing, management, or even information technology.

In the month of November, employer searches for clinical research associates increased sharply, while most other positions remained flat in both supply and demand. The MedZilla.com Employment Report analyzes the numbers for November 2007 and announces the findings.

November job searches stayed generally flat as compared to October, with the top ten states showing swings of 0.5 percent to -0.5 percent. The same was seen in job searches by keyword, where only sales job searches changed by more than half a percent. Marketing and management searches also rose slightly -- 0.3 to 0.5 percent.

Those numbers correspond to the job postings by location; except in Massachusetts, which showed a one percent increase in job searches over the past month, the top ten states changed little in either direction. However, job postings for primary care positions were off by 3.6 percent, the largest drop in the past three months for any field. Sales postings were not among the top ten of available jobs for the month of November.

Despite little change in job postings and applicant searches, employers in six of the top ten states for job postings increased their resume searches by 1.5 percent or more. The biggest gain came in Florida (2.3 percent), followed by Texas (2.1 percent). Employers increased their searches for clinical research candidates -- three of the top ten searches made by employers were in that field, and all three searches increased by at least 1.8 percent.

What Does It Mean?

In the past two months, searches for clinical research positions made small gains. However, the larger increase through November is likely related to difficulties the large drug companies are experiencing; many drugs are at or near their patent expiration dates, which means generic drug makers will be able to cash in. The big companies -- GlaxoSmithKline, Wyeth, and others -- therefore will probably be looking to develop new medications that are effective and also can be used by the largest number of people. A 0.9 percent increase in clients searching for marketing representatives could also lend credence to this hypothesis, as new medications will need to be marketed.

Why?

Once again, a Massachusetts-based company has announced wide-ranging downsizing activities. Boston Scientific is likely to release 2,300 employees worldwide owing mostly to problems stemming from product recalls. Bayer also plans to release 1,500 employees worldwide while GPC Biotech, based in Germany and also Princeton, Mass., plans to cut 44 percent of its staff.

Also, outplacement reports for November were rife with information about hospitals cutting back on positions; Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, and South Carolina were affected.

Finally, a troubling statistic in light of the suggestions made in our previous reports this year: Kaiser Permanente, based in California, is in the process of dismissing almost 200 IT employees throughout the company.

Despite the outplacements in healthcare, Michele Hopps, MedZilla.com's Director of Marketing & Development, says that they are seeing an increase in membership requests by the healthcare community. "The shortage of healthcare workers remains a serious issue as baby boomers age and the need for healthcare grows. We are seeing more requests than usual from hospitals and other healthcare service providers. It appears that healthcare recruiting departments are keeping close tabs on whose laying people off in an effort to pick up displaced workers and fill their positions more quickly."

Where Do You Stand?

Candidates with clinical research experience, even if that was not their first choice, might find success in research-related fields. Clinical research positions also have the advantage that drugs take time to develop; researching the medications, plus Phase I and Phase II trials, can take years, so candidates looking for positions with the opportunity for longer-term employment may find what they're looking for in clinical research. Additionally, if a drug is effective and makes money for the company, it is possible that a researcher could find him- or herself with a contract to develop yet another drug or even recruited by a competing firm, which is a strong bargaining position.

Looking toward the future, Frank Heasley, Ph.D., Medzilla.com's CEO says that currently in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, more job seekers are looking for sales positions than any other area. As a result, "if you are considering a career in pharmaceuticals or medical devices, it might be prudent to consider other options like healthcare delivery, scientific or clinical research, marketing, management, or even information technology." Basic economic principles of supply and demand remains at play, and those who take advantage first are invariably those who reap the greatest rewards.

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MICHELE GROUTAGE HOPPS
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