Report: Med device industry contributes 436K jobs to economy

The medical device industry was responsible for 423,000 jobs, $24.6 billion in payroll and almost $136 billion worth of products in 2008. That represents an increase of 12.5 percent, 11.4 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively, over data collected in 2005. The figures come from a report released by the Lewin Group and prepared for AdvaMed, which highlights the industry's contribution to the U.S. economy.

While the industry didn't totally escape the effects of the global economic downturn, it's suffered less than the manufacturing sector. For instance, U.S. manufacturing employment decreased by 4.8 percent, while medical technology employment decreased by only 1.1 percent.

Medical technology salaries are about 40 percent above the national average ($58,000 vs. $42,000), and the industry has a strong positive multiplier effect; each job generating on average an additional 1.5 jobs in each state. Surgical appliance and supplies manufacturing leads the pack with roughly 114,000 employees and $35.3 billion in sales, according to 2008 figures.

"This report paints an impressive picture of an industry that is a world leader in medical technology and a key economic engine for America in terms of job growth, payroll and sales," said Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of AdvaMed. "However, our world leadership cannot be guaranteed in the future. It is essential that regulatory and payment policies support innovation while ensuring public health and safety and moving us toward a more efficient and quality-driven health care system."

- here's AdvaMed's release
- check out the full report here (.pdf)