Biotech – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, December 2023

Despite a significant downward trend, UK Biotech industry shows consistent equity financing levels

Key findings include:

  • The biotech sector has been on a downward trend this year, with vacancies down 34% in 2023.
  • Utrecht shows a remarkable 68.4% surge in job openings
  • In the EU, despite R&D being the primary area, vacancies are down 42.4%.
  • Genmab in Denmark is one to watch; has had a 40.3% surge in vacancies


The biotech sector has been on a downward trend this year, with vacancies down 34% in 2023. With that, the first quarter saw the highest concentration of job postings, tallying 351 vacancies. Indeed, January and March were the top two months in 2023, with 131 and 123 vacancies respectively. This is according to the latest Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by CPL and market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Yvette Cleland – CEO – CPL – comments:

In terms of investment figures, the UK saw a decline in 2022, with investments amounting to USD 1,920 million compared to USD 4,827 million in 2021. Despite this drop, equity financing for biotech companies in the UK remains consistent with pre-pandemic levels, indicating stability in the industry.

Cambridge remains the leading Biotech Hub in Europe

Indeed, the UK’s biotech sector has encountered a significant reduction in scientific vacancies, with a 46.8% decrease compared to 2022. Meanwhile, the EU seems more resilient, experiencing a smaller decline of 39.1% in 2023. Despite this, Cambridge maintains its position as the leading city for the third consecutive year. However, Cambridge has not been spared by the sector’s downturn, seeing an almost 60% reduction in vacancies from the previous year,

R&D 57% of UK Biotech vacancies, just 33% of total within the EU

Within the UK, R&D retains the largest market share at 57.3%, despite a significant 47.4% decrease in vacancies from the previous year. With the EU, we then see R&D, whilst a leading area, is only 33% of the total vacancies. This is indicative of the UK’s status as a leading centre for international investment.

BioNTech scales back recruitment, Genmab one to watch with 40.3% surge

Genmab, headquartered in Denmark, has had a remarkable 40.3% surge in job openings making it the fastest growing in recruitment terms. BioNTech is also worth mentioning, as despite being the leading Biotech recruiter, it has had a 21.7% reduction in scientific vacancies, which is in tandem with the company’s revised revenue forecast as demand for its COVID-19 vaccine declines. Indeed, for the majority of the leading Biotechs there has been a decline this year, for context of the top twenty, only four had an increase in vacancies in 2023 compared to 2022.

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