Nancy Crotti

August 7, 2014

2 Min Read
Report: Medtech Jobs Actually on the Rise

The medtech jobs picture looked rosy in 2013, with the top 15 device makers in hiring mode, according to an EP Vantage report out this week.You're Hired

Excluding pharmaceutical spinoffs, these companies expanded their collective workforce by 6%, the report says. Baxter International led the pack, partly by adding 10,000 employees - for a growth rate of 20 percent - from its $4 billion acquisition of Gambro. Stryker and Intuitive Surgical came in second and third, adding nearly 3000 and 430 employees, respectively, in 2013. That's despite dismal sales and a precipitous drop in share price for Intuitive.

Baxter intends to spin off its biotechnology and vaccines businesses, but those changes will not affect employment numbers until they officially take effect next year.

Only three of the leading companies, Abbott, Covidien, and Boston Scientific, had fewer employees in 2013, the EP report said.

"There were a few eye-catching acquisitions and divestments in 2013, but overall, medtech companies increased their headcount slowly and steadily," Elizabeth Cairns, report author and EP Vantage medtech reporter, told Business Wire. "The trend towards pharma spin-outs means large medtech is getting purer. And with several megamergers underway, we can expect to see much more drastic changes in device makers' headcounts in the coming years."

Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at MEDevice San Diego, September 10-11, 2014.

The overall increase in bodies belies the spate of layoffs and more layoffs that plagued the industry in 2013. Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Abbott Laboratories, and Smith & Nephew slashed jobs last year. The job cuts continued this year, with layoffs by St. Jude Medical, Abbott, Allergan, and Johnson & Johnson. And there was Greatbach's decision to close an Oregon plant and move operations to Mexico siphoning off 170 U.S. jobs.

St. Jude Medical laid off about 270 workers at its Sylmar, CA facility July 28, according to a filing the Little Canada, MN-based medical device giant made with the California Employment Development Department.

Irvine, CA-based Allergan--best known for the drug Botox, but also a maker of silicone breast implants and tissue expanders--announced last month it will cut 1,500 jobs and close three U.S. locations. The restructuring was seen as a way to boost shareholder value and thus continue its battle against a hostile takeover by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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