Study: Bayer Expansion Would Generate $613M in Economic Activity, Support 3,800 Jobs
The Bay Area’s life sciences industry is booming, and plans by Bayer to dramatically expand its Berkeley product development and manufacturing campus over the next 30 years would help power the biotech bonanza, generating more than $600 million in economic activity and supporting more than 3,800 jobs annually across the region, according to a new study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The proposed expansion would also provide a solid boost to a Bay Area manufacturing sector that still has not fully recovered from large job losses in the early 2000’s.
Bayer has operated in Berkeley since 1974. The company’s plans for growth further solidify its role as an anchor institution for the region, creating economic benefits from an increased employee headcount and construction plans into 2052. For Berkeley alone, the development is projected to generate $29.1 million in annual economic activity, an increase of 97% over today’s numbers. Looking beyond the city’s borders, the annual economic impact in the East Bay and the wider nine-county Bay Area related to Bayer’s expansion is projected to increase 70% to $422 million and 88% to $613.1 million, respectively, over 30 years.
The Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s analysis highlights the company’s important economic presence in the Bay Area and the role of manufacturing as a crucial component of a healthy, diversified economy. By 2052, Berkeley’s largest private sector employer anticipates it will employ close to 2,000 workers, nearly doubling current numbers. Due to the multiplying effects of each Bayer job, spending circulates through multiple supplier industries. Today, for every 10 Bayer workers employed at the Berkeley campus, another 12 jobs are supported across the Bay Area. Looking ahead at a full build-out of its proposed master plan, the site is expected to support thousands of jobs across the region, rebuilding manufacturing employment and continuing the region’s life science boom.
“With 1,000 employees today and supplier networks across the region, Bayer is a major player in the region’s biotech and life sciences ecosystem,” said Jeff Bellisario, Executive Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “The jobs that Bayer provides now and into the future are critical in creating economic balance and opportunity at multiple wage levels. With a plan to double its headcount by 2052, Bayer’s proposed expansion in Berkeley signals the future of advanced manufacturing in the region. The economic impacts will extend well beyond its expected new facilities.”
“This is a transformational time in the advancement of medicine,” said Jens Vogel, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Biotech for Bayer. “We are planning to play a leading role in bringing new options for patient care forward such as cell and gene therapies. We know how hard the economy has been hit during the pandemic and it’s great to see that we can be part of a turnaround for the region long-term. Of course, for us, the focus is on the patients we can serve by developing and bringing forward new medicines for cancer, cardiovascular disease and debilitating conditions like Parkinson’s.”
The expansion would build upon Bayer’s extensive diversity of jobs and income levels. Its campus employs workers ranging from scientists to quality control technicians to warehouse staff, and supports jobs across the wage spectrum, with more than 75% of Berkeley employees earning annual salaries above $85,000. Bayer’s diversity also extends to the varying ethnic and educational backgrounds of its workers—roughly 40% of its workforce identifies as Asian, 12% as Latinx, and 9% as Black; the campus has more than 80 employees with PhDs and nearly 600 with educational attainment ranging from high school diplomas to associate’s degrees and some college. By 2052, Bayer is expected to employ about 2,000 workers in the nine-county Bay Area with salaries totaling $247 million in 2020 dollars.
Bayer’s campus transformation will be supported by construction of 918,000 new square feet of development labs, production/warehouse and administrative facilities, plus parking garages. Construction is projected to directly generate 1,698 full-time equivalent construction job-years in the region, with each job-year representing a single job for a single year. The goals of the expansion’s master plan are to maximize productive use of land, advance Bayer’s ability to attract talent and partners, and promote the health of employees. More information about the transformation is available at https://www.bayer.com/en/us/berkeley-site-updates.