Healthcare jobs growth tops all others

Brookings Institution report examines effect of healthcare industry across metro job markets
By Bernie Monegain
07:41 AM
Healthcare jobs growth

Jobs in the healthcare sector have grown faster than in any other industry, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. Over the past decade, the healthcare industry has added 2.6 million jobs nationwide, accounting for a 22.7 percent employment growth rate over 10 years, compared with 2.1 percent employment growth rate in all other industries, the report found.

[See also: Health informatics jobs growing.]

Other key findings:

  • Across the 100 largest metropolitan areas, the healthcare industry accounts for more than one in every 10 jobs. That share varies from just 7 percent in the Las Vegas metro area to 20 percent in the McAllen, TX metro area. Most healthcare-intensive metro areas are found in the Northeast and industrial Midwest, and in areas of Florida with large senior populations. In every one of the 100 largest metro areas, healthcare today represents a higher share of jobs than before the recession struck. Overall, healthcare has accounted for 13 percent of total job growth in the 100 metro areas over the course of the employment recovery. In 11 metro areas that span every major U.S. region, healthcare has accounted for more than 25 percent of that job growth
  • The occupational distribution of healthcare workers does not dramatically differ across metro areas. Still, healthcare support workers have the greatest variation between places. Healthcare practitioners (such as doctors, nurses, and dentists) on average account for 3.5 percent of all workers across the 100 largest metro areas, ranging from a low of 2.4 percent of workers up to 5.1 percent in individual metro areas. Healthcare technologists (such as lab technicians, sonographers, Magnetic Resonance Imaging technologists, paramedics, and medical records technicians) represent on average 2 percent of all workers across the 100 largest metro areas, ranging from 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent. Healthcare support workers (such as nursing assistants and home health aides) account for 2.9 percent of all workers across the 100 largest metro areas and have the largest range among healthcare occupations, from a low of 1.9 percent to a high of 5.4 percent.
  • Wages for healthcare workers vary among occupation types and across metro areas. Practitioners have the highest earnings among healthcare workers and earn nearly double the average worker across all metropolitan areas. Healthcare technologists show considerable variation in their earning power across metro areas, earning more than the average worker in 35 of the 100 largest metro areas. Healthcare support workers, on the other hand, earn 37 percent less on average than all workers in large metropolitan areas. On average, healthcare wages track general wage levels in a metro area.

[See also: 500 health IT jobs slated for Atlanta.]