The U.S. medical technology industry saw its jobs ranks fall by nearly 29,000 while the medical device excise tax was in effect, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Specifically, from 2012 to 2015, the number of U.S. medtech jobs declined from 401,472 to 372,638—a loss of 28,834 jobs or a 7.2% decrease for the time period.
“These numbers reveal just how devastating of an impact the device tax had on our industry and underscore the urgent need for permanent repeal,” said Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed). “At a time when American device manufacturers are ready to grow and create jobs, the best message this Congress and the Administration can send is through a full and permanent repeal.”
Based on data updated by the Commerce Department in January, job losses began to drop in 2012 in anticipation of the device tax going into effect the next year. The drop rapidly accelerated in 2014 with an additional reduction of 27,022 job losses. The medical device tax was suspended for two years beginning late 2015.
Last month, AdvaMed released data showing just how the industry was re-investing and producing jobs in the wake of the tax’s suspension, even as analysts were predicting greater growth with full repeal.
“While it was a positive step, suspending the device tax is only a half measure,” Whitaker warned. “For medtech companies to plan for further job creation and development of the next generation of treatments and cures, they need the certainty that this onerous tax will be gone for good.
He said, “Bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate are on record in support of full and permanent repeal. There is no reason for delay. We urge the Congress and Administration to take action now.”