Job Survey: Pharma Workers Doing More But Feeling More Insecure

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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing's annual readers' survey suggests that, with corporate structures and loyalties crumbling in the drug industry, workers are putting in more hours but feeling more uncertain about their careers.

Nearly two-thirds of employees in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector fear for their jobs. This is just one of the key findings in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine's annual Salary and Job Satisfaction readers' survey, the results of which are featured in the magazine's February issue and on http://www.PharmaManufacturing.com.

Of the nearly 400 readers worldwide who took the survey, 64% said that they were concerned about job security. This compares with 55.8% in 2008, and 42.7% in 2007. The data show a creeping unease among drug manufacturing workers that, while tied in to the current state of the economy, has been progressing for years. "While the economy certainly has an impact on the pharmaceutical industry, the layoffs that are occurring now are nothing new," says Michael Steiner, head of the pharmaceutical group at RegentAtlantic Capital (Morristown, N.J.), commenting on the results of the survey. Instead, the current job insecurity is a continuation of a trend resulting from blockbuster drug patent expirations, dwindling product pipelines, and the ongoing frenzy of mergers and acquisitions, Steiner and other analysts say.

As a way of compensating for the uncertainty, employees are taking on more work, the survey found. Nearly half of the respondents (47.5%) said that they have had to take on an increased workload due to staff cuts. This is up about 5% over a year before, and 10% from two years ago.

A sampling of reader comments:
    "With fewer opportunities comes insecurity and undermining by peers and coworkers."
    "The elimination of headcount is putting more burden on the employees we have left."
    "We're doing more with less time with overloaded workers. This cannot give good results; "safe" and "hurry" don't go together."

For more data and analysis related to the survey, visit http://www.PharmaManufacturing.com.

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PAUL THOMAS
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