Healthcare industry continues to shine in job creation
Monday, September 25, 2017
With all the drama surrounding the politics of repealing the Affordable Care Act, the good news for the healthcare economy is that it continues to add jobs. The sector creating another 20,000 in August on top of the 39,000 or so in July.
Overall, healthcare continues to gain employees, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. Of these, hospitals added about 6,000 jobs last month, down from 7,000 in July.
The last 12 months show that more than 328,000 jobs have been added in the healthcare industry. During that time, offices of physicians have added 72,000 jobs, outpatient care centers added 50,000, and hospitals added 85,000.
Hiring in August is historically slow, Healthcare Dive recently reported, so time will tell whether hospitals are acting conservatively in hiring trends or the August report is part of the natural give-and-take in hiring processes.
Earlier this year, healthcare job hub Health eCareer predicted continued job growth for the remainder of the year, with increases to all healthcare job types and across all sectors. Data collected from the 2016 Healthcare Jobs Snapshot showed job postings on Health eCareers increased 23 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, with overall sector job growth at nearly 400,000 new healthcare positions last year.
"This unprecedented growth is predicted to continue in 2017 and for the foreseeable future," the organization said. The analysis from last year's data showed that more than 225,000 healthcare and medical job postings were placed by 6,377 hospitals and healthcare organizations on Health eCareers during 2016.
Physicians and surgeons appear to be the most in-demand with 53 percent of job postings on Health eCareers in 2016. The most growth was realized in family medicine, OB/GYN and gastroenterology.
Nurses, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) accounted for 31 percent of job postings on the group's job boards with employers advertising more than 70,000 positions for these roles. Within nursing, 75 percent of postings were for registered nurses, with general medical/surgical and emergency room nurses being most in demand. Family medicine topped the list for both PAs and NPs.
U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the top 100 jobs for 2017 and discovered that 21 of the top 25 spots belong to healthcare-related positions. Dentist, NP and PA are the top three; other top-25 healthcare positions include: nurse anesthetist (No. 6), pediatrician (No. 7), optometrist (No. 11), midwife (No. 15), registered nurse (No. 22) and occupational therapist (No. 23).
There was some fear earlier in the year, however, that healthcare job creation might soften even though healthcare practitioners and healthcare support positions are projected to be among the fastest-growing jobs through 2024. Even so, the hospital sector is currently experiencing "a shake-up as it deals with the new normal of patients seeking fewer outpatient services in hospitals," Healthcare Dive notes.
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