A report just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 4 announced that in April 2015 the number of job openings across the country reached 5.4 million, the highest level since December 2000 when the BLS started publishing that data. The total number of people employed (nonfarm employment) was 141.4 million in April, which is also a series high.1
Before the 2007–2009 recession, the number of job openings reached a peak of 4.7 million. Employment peaked at 138.4 million in January 2008, a month after the recession began. 1
This suggests that the employment market is in its healthiest position for 15 years.
But what does that mean for your career in health care?
Employment in the health care industry has been growing steadily for years, BLS data shows.2
This growth is partly due to the fact that we depend on health services no matter what the economy is doing. And as health care related jobs often require the personal touch, it’s difficult to outsource them or replace them with automation or technology, as can happen in other industries.
Even through the 20007-09 recession, when total (nonfarm) employment fell drastically, health care employment continued to grow, as this BLS chart clearly shows. 3
Where are the jobs?
In a detailed report published by the BLS in Spring 2014, the Occupational Outlook Quarterly 2, there were more than 15.8 million jobs in healthcare in 2013.2 For that report, the BLS grouped health care jobs into five detailed industries with the associated percentage of employment: hospitals (39%), health practitioners’ offices (26%), nursing and residential care facilities (20%), home healthcare services (8%), and outpatient, laboratory, and other ambulatory care services (8%).
In 2012 BLS projected healthcare employment to grow by 26% between then and 2022, that’s an increase of about 4.1 million jobs.2 This BLS projection factors in several different reasons that will drive growth. A growing population, an aging population, an increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity, medical advances and continued health insurance reform. 2 All things that will keep the industry busy in the coming years.
Keep your focus
This positive jobs data should come as no surprise to Carrington College students and graduates, but it is an important reminder. If you have days where you’re struggling, or when the workload gets to you, remember why you chose to pursue a career in health care. If you’ve just graduated and are looking for your first job, keep your focus. With the right skills, qualification, and attitude, there’s a job out there for you, and the future looks bright.
3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics (wage and salary employment, seasonally adjusted).