Medical & Academic Area grew jobs 2x as fast as MA, now accounts for 1 of every 10 jobs in Boston

A new report analyzing economic development in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area shows Longwood now has one of the highest concentrations of jobs in Boston, increasing by nearly 30%, or nearly 15,000 jobs, in only 10 years, double Massachusetts’ growth rate during the same period. Employment in Longwood reached a historic high of nearly 68,000 jobs, exceeding other prominent hubs, such as Kendall Square and the Seaport, by 32% and 80%, respectively.

Fueling the state’s economic growth, Longwood drives $30 billion in business revenues in Massachusetts and supports $18 billion of the gross state product. The small, dense area creates jobs and economic activity in every community of the state, with Longwood’s 68,000 jobs producing an additional 87,000 outside of the area.

“With its history of pooling knowledge and resources for shared discovery, Longwood has long served as an economic anchor for Boston and Massachusetts and the area was well-positioned to respond in a time of crisis,” said David Sweeney, President and CEO of MASCO. “The education and medical institutions in the state have historically provided stability and growth during economic uncertainty. The strength and resilience of the institutions in Longwood, bringing impact to every corner of the Commonwealth, can play a significant role in the future of the local economy.”

Longwood’s research enterprise is a leading center of healthcare innovation and serving as a main driver of the state’s knowledge economy. Longwood institutions continue to have an outsized impact on the state’s ability to attract critical, highly competitive federal research funding, representing over a third of the state’s totals and receiving, on average, over 200 awards per institution compared to 18 for other research organizations in Massachusetts.

“Longwood is well-known as the home to world-leading medical and health institutions, and what this study documents is the extraordinary network effect generated by having so many top institutions, their researchers, and clinicians so close to each other – often across the street or on the same block,” said Dick Argys, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital, and MASCO Board Chair. “The collective strength of the Longwood area and the individual strengths of each Longwood institution reinforce each other in powerful ways that drive world-changing, life-saving medical breakthroughs. Our deep roots in Longwood help make Boston Children's Hospital the world-class institution that we are.”

Interviews conducted as part of this report suggest that institutional leadership in Longwood do not think that the economic uncertainty from the pandemic will reduce their ability to meet long-term growth targets. Longwood is at the center of Massachusetts’ innovation economy and is a microcosm of its competitive advantages, and the area will be critical to the state’s economic future as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other report findings include:

  • Longwood employs 68,000 people (an increase of nearly 30%), educates 27,000 students (an increase of 15%), and treats 2.8 million patients annually (an increase of 27%)
  • Longwood added more than 1,200 jobs per year over the last 10 years, contributing one of every 11 new jobs in Boston over that time
  • Every 10 jobs in Longwood support 12 other jobs elsewhere in Massachusetts More than 155,000 jobs created or supported by the institutions in Longwood 33% of Longwood employees live in Boston coming from every neighborhood
  • Longwood employees live in every county and legislative district in Massachusetts
  • Colleges and universities in Longwood are attracting double the number of out-of-state students and triple the number of international students than ever before
  • Graduates from colleges and universities in Longwood are more likely to stay in Massachusetts than alumni from other schools

“Emmanuel College’s location in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area represents an incomparable advantage in today’s higher education landscape,” said Sister Janet Eisner, SNDdeN, President of Emmanuel College and MASCO Board Vice-Chair. “Just steps from our campus, students engage in internships and innovative research with premier biomedical organizations, where they learn how to apply knowledge in real-world situations and make valuable professional connections. These experiences set them apart when applying to graduate school and when pursuing their aspirations in a competitive career marketplace.”

The report was conducted by the Economic and Public Policy Research Group at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute. The report can be viewed at masco.org/longwoodimpact.