Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Future of New Jersey Jobs with Pharmaceutical Company Unsure

Yet another pharmaceutical company has recently announced that it will be leaving the Garden state. Roche has decided to relocate to the Bay Area in California and will be closing it’s facility located in Nutley. The company did not say how many New Jersey jobs will be lost when it leaves, but currently employees 374 people in the area.

“It is a reminder that the competition most important to New Jersey is not that with New York and Pennsylvania, but that this is a global competition for pharmaceutical jobs and investments,” said Daniel Levine, who is the former assistant state treasure in the Jim McGreevey and Richard Codey gubernatorial administrations.

Levine believes that New Jersey’s greatest competition for high-end pharmaceutical jobs in the U.S. is coming from California, Massachusetts and Maryland. “None of these states are low-cost places to operate, so the types of roles they tend to attract are in high-end R&D, executive management and other high-paying professional positions,” he explained. Levine is currently an executive at ADP, Inc, a Roseland business services company.

To make matters worse, there has been a growing percentage of clinical trials and pharmaceutical contract research and manufacturing operations outsourced to various overseas locations. In addition to this, half of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. are subsidiaries of European owned companies. Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, sanofi-aventis and AstraZeneca are all in this group.

Roche’s decision its headquarters to San Francisco was announced at the same time as the company’s plans to purchase the remainder of Genentech Inc. James Hughes, who is the dean of Rutgers University’s Edward Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy in New Brunswick, says that Roche already owns 56 percent of Genentech and are planning to take it over because they view its research as the future of the company. Despite the move, Roche plans to continue to grow its research and development operations in New Jersey.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine reacted positively to this news, saying that in exchange for losing administrative jobs to California, New Jersey will receive more research and development positions. “It is clearly a recognition of New Jersey’s status as the medicine chest to the nation and the top-notch work force that is available in the state.”

Senator Joseph Kyrillos was less than happy about Roche’s decision. He has called upon the governor to schedule a special session this summer devoted to considering a package of economic and stimulus bills. In a recent statement Kyrillos said that New Jersey “must have a world-class economic development strategy, or risk losing high-pay businesses such as Roche.”

During the first half of this year, New Jersey pharmaceutical companies have done away with 1,375 jobs, according to notices filed with the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. According to Hughes, the state’s share of the industry has dropped from 20.2 percent in 1990 to 13.7 percent last year.

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