This story was originally published to Bisnow on September 13, 2022.
Boston’s longstanding economic engine — biotech — has conferred undeniable benefits on the metro area, hitting 106,000 total jobs last year and bestowing a reputation as a mecca of innovation and research. But as prices rise, biotech workers increasingly struggle to cope with rising home prices and access to reliable transit.
New stats from industry trade group MassBio and BioConnects New England suggest sustained future job growth, and salary projections for many members of the workforce that fall short of what’s needed in a pricey metro like Boston. A lack of public transit makes it difficult to travel to farther-flung research labs. And while the area’s status as a U.S. leader in biotech is entrenched, there is some concern that biotech companies searching for more cost-effective solutions might look elsewhere.
“Housing is a crisis, and our transportation is outdated, unreliable, and unsafe, and stifling economic growth,” said MassBio CEO Joe Boncore, a former Massachusetts state senator who focused on housing and transportation issues. “There’s a cost to modernizing our public transit system, but the bigger cost people should be concerned about is the cost of doing nothing, because ultimately, if we choose the path of doing nothing, you know, we’re gonna lose our economic competitive advantage.”