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Health and Life Sciences Industries Growing in the Spokane Area

The Spokane region boasts a robust health care industry with nearly 20 percent of its residents working in the health care sector.

The health care and life science industries combined currently employ over 47,450 Spokane-area workers.

Spokane has also seen tremendous growth in early-stage life and health science businesses. Just ten years ago, the region only had nine companies in this sector. The number of startups more than doubled to 19 in less than five years and has continued to grow consistently. Today, Spokane is home to 22 early-stage life and health science businesses that are shaping the future of the region’s health care industry.

Spokane is also known for its research and commercialization and is proud of its soon-to-be 100-year-old allergy immunotherapy and contract manufacturing organization, Jubilant HollisterStier. The combination of their two business units employs a total of 650 people. Furthermore, multiple successful startup organizations have spun off from Jubilant HollisterStier and have chosen to build their businesses in Spokane.

Even with the impressive life and health science industry employment numbers, the most in-demand job in the Spokane region is registered nurses.

Spokane is well-positioned for this demand with 90,000 enrolled students at eight regional universities. There has also seen federal research dollars at area universities nearly triple since 2010, and Spokane County invests a percentage of sales tax into bio and health science research.

One of Spokane’s most unique features is the University District, or UD: 770 acres in the heart of downtown Spokane that brings leaders in education, business, sciences, and government together in support of health and life sciences initiatives. The UD is also home to two, four-year medical school programs.

Industry growth in this area and downtown Spokane is important for the economic impact that is directly related to these current/near future capital projects, 21 in total:

●    Three future health science projects that are on the precipice of being confirmed
●    Five housing projects
●    Eight Health, Education and Research projects
●    Five Health, Education and Research Support projects

The increasing overlap of the high-tech and health care (Health IT) is important for the Spokane region. The Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector is more than 50% traded. There are a range of tech occupations such as Network Architects, Web Developers, and other Computer Occupations that are in the top 10 good jobs list for Spokane. These jobs are characterized by high wages, very fast growth, and large demand from local employers. Over 2,000 Information Technology jobs were posted in Spokane County in 2019. About one quarter (6 of 25) of the employers with the most job openings were companies in the health care industry, Colleges, and Universities (8 local) and are the fifth top detailed industry for IT jobs. To top it off, EPIC (electronic health records application) is the fourth top certification in greatest demand.

Spokane truly does ‘have it all’ and could be the right choice for your growing company!


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