NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Northeast Health Corridor

December 30, 2002

Just as California's Silicon Valley is associated with hi-tech industry and the Pacific Northwest brings to mind aerospace endeavors, so the nation's Northeast Corridor -- running from Boston to Bethesda, Md. -- has come to be identified with the health care industry.

  • Almost one out of every 10 jobs in the Northeast Corridor today is in health care --a higher proportion than in any other region of the country.
  • In New York City, four out of the 10 largest private employers are medical institutions -- and in Philadelphia, it is seven out of 10.
  • Health care companies in the Northeast's medical megalopolis have added 50,000 jobs -- while since 2000, all other industries combined have lost 220,000.
  • From 1988 to 2001, the average salary for health care workers in the Northeast jumped from roughly $25,000 to a level approaching $45,000 -- slightly above the national norm.

Drug companies have settled into the Northeast, taking up the slack in technology spending which began to decline around 2000 -- and many displaced technology workers have found employment in the drug sector.

Of the top 20 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, 15 are now headquartered in the Northeast.

Source: David Leonhardt, "Growing Health Care Economy Gives Northeast a Needed Boost," New York Times, December 30, 2002.

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