The Star-Ledger is reporting that Hoffmann-La Roche, which employs 3,240 workers in New Jersey, is moving its corporate headquarters to California.
Although the full jobs impact is not yet known, Hoffmann-La Roche’s move represents another setback for a state that in 1990 had 20 percent of the pharmaceutical jobs in the United States — the highest concentration in the country — and now accounts for about 13.7 percent, according to James Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School of Policy and Planning at Rutgers University.
“The proposed Hoffmann-La Roche move will widen the gap even further and solidify California as the nation’s medicine chest,” Hughes said. “The relative erosion of the pharmaceutical sector in New Jersey mirrors what is happening to other high-tech industries in the state.”
In other words, it is another sign of our slipping competitiveness. One of the drivers of such decisions, especially in high-tech companies, can be a state’s litigation climate. Later this morning your friendly blogger will join the good people at the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance for a conference on NJ’s legal climate and its impact on our economy. A featured speaker will be Dr. Lawrence McQuillan of the Pacific Research Institute, who speaks a bit about his studies on the ‘tort tax’ in the video below.