Following is a list of 10 pharmaceutical giants, ranked by their numbers of available jobs as posted on their corporate websites the week of June 17–21. Companies are listed with their total numbers of jobs worldwide, total number of jobs in the nation with the highest number, percentage of jobs accounted for by the top nation, the next five (or in Eli Lilly’s case, four) nations with jobs posted on the company’s website, and the percent of available jobs accounted for by those nations.
The results show both the U.S.’ continuing dominance of the industry, since nine of 10 companies hired the highest numbers of employees Stateside—as well as significant hiring overseas, especially in China (which dominated Eli Lilly’s listings of available jobs) and Europe.
Belgium was the top nation after the U.S. in listings posted by two pharma giants, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit. J&J numbers reflect Janssen job postings, since that unit specializes in prescription drug development worldwide. Also placing among next-five nations of most pharmas were three of Europe’s four biopharma powerhouses, the U.K. (seven of 10 companies), France and Germany (five each). The fourth, Switzerland, was a top-five hiring choice of just the two pharmas headquartered in that nation, Novartis and Roche.
After China and Europe, several nations figure in a few companies’ job postings: Canada and Mexico are among next-five countries of two companies, as are Australia and Singapore. So too is the Netherlands. But the presence of Poland and Ukraine indicate that Eastern Europe will have at least some future in the hiring plans of biopharmas, as will the Middle East and Asia (India, Taiwan).
The listings cannot say if companies truly plan to fill every one of those hundreds and hundreds of listed positions; hiring plans are often as volatile as the economy and drug discovery ups-and-downs. And some of the listed jobs may have already been filled by the time you read this. But the job listings can be viewed as a barometer of enduring big pharma health, at least in the business areas still seen as pharma strengths, such as business development, project engineering, technical services, and quality control—even as most of the industry giants have laid off thousands of R&D and sales staffers in recent years, while some are planning new rounds of workforce reductions.