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Top 5 Industries in Massachusetts: Which Parts of the Economy Are Strongest?

By Tamara Koehler   |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 01:55 PM

Move over, Silicon Valley. Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in Massachusetts, with the Bay State now claiming the highest per-capita ranking nationwide in tech-related patenting, licensing, and venture capital, according to CompTIA, a tech industry association. 

While California remains the leader in tech-based entrepreneurs and venture capital, Massachusetts claims the No. 1 spot nationally in high-tech research and development, testing and life science industries, according to the Boston Globe

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Technology is fueling what is known as the Commonwealth’s innovation economy. The state’s thriving network of medical labs, academic institutions and biotechnology startups has drawn lucrative partnerships with major companies like Celgene Corp., Baxter International, and Roche Holding Ltd. In Switzerland. Roche plans to invest $1 billion in Foundation Medicine Inc., a cancer research business in Cambridge.

Here are Massachusetts’ top five industries, each embracing technological advances:

Financial Services

Brokerage firms, software firms and insurance powerhouses like New York Life, Vanguard and Liberty Mutual Group are headquartered in Massachusetts. The state’s capital, Boston, is home to a majority of the 12 Fortune 500 companies doing business in the Bay State.

Technology

The industry paid nearly 20 percent of all wages in Massachusetts in the last decade, according got the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fast-growing data storage company EMC grew by 40 percent in 2014 with plans to spend $213 million this year acquiring Iomega, a similar firm. Biotechnology draws billions into the state. In 2013, the National Institutes for Health provided $2.3 billion in funding while venture capitalists invested $1.8 billion.

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Medicine and Life Sciences

Described as a “super cluster” of universities, research institutions and teaching hospitals, the life science industry is one of the most robust, according to the state housing and economic development agency. More than 550 biotech and drug development companies do business in Massachusetts, with close to 1,400 drugs in development. Prestigious universities like Harvard are MIT play an important role in the life science industry along with research hospitals. In 2013, five research hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institutes were the top medical centers receiving NIH funding. 

Manufacturing

The industry is a long-time staple of the Bay State’s economy. Leading the list of manufactured products are computer and electronic equipment such as microchips, communication devices including military communication systems, and automation products, according to Netstate.com.

Fishing

More than 2.5 million pounds of fish are netted each year in the Bay State’s waters around Boston, according to city-data.com. That bounty has made food processing and storage a significant slice of the state’s economy.

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Tourism

With Boston routinely making the United States’ top 10 tourist attraction cities, the state’s tourism industry has weathered the economic downturns of the last decade. Each year, tourism adds $1 billion to the state tax coffers and $16.9 billion in revenue for hotels and travel-related business. Tourism also provides approximately 124,700 jobs, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

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Move over, Silicon Valley. Technology is one of the fastest-growing industries in Massachusetts, with the Bay State now claiming the highest per-capita ranking nationwide in tech-related patenting, licensing, and venture capital.
industries, massachusetts, economy
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2015-55-09
 

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