As ‘Obamacare’ moves forward, report says health care jobs will be the fastest growing in 46 out of 50 states
Job openings will grow faster in healthcare than in all other industries in 46 out of 50 states and in the District of Columbia, with the fastest growth in Georgia (38 percent) and Utah (38 percent), according to a study released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
The healthcare jobs with the highest educational requirements will be in professional and technical healthcare occupations, which will require postsecondary education for 90 percent or more of job openings in 44 states and in D.C.
Given the deep cuts to education spending by states in recent years, there is well-founded anxiety about whether the U.S. will be able to produce the number of trained healthcare workers needed to meet the projected demand in the coming decade. “Failure to prepare an adequately trained healthcare workforce will have serious consequences beyond the economy,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the report’s lead author. “Access to care, quality of care and patient safety are what’s at stake.”
Among the study’s other major findings:
- Labor productivity in healthcare is among the worst in the economy. Since 1990, healthcare has been one of the few industries where productivity actually declined.
- Healthcare has the largest number and proportion of foreign-born and foreign-trained workers in the U.S. Among healthcare workers 22 percent are foreign born, compared to 13 percent of all workers nationally. Most foreign-born nurses come from the Philippines, India and China.
- The healthcare industry will be especially dominant in Northeastern states’ economies. In Rhode Island, New York, Maine, and Massachusetts healthcare workers will make up 15 percent or more of the workforce by 2020, compared to the national average (12 percent).
- Southern States have the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity. Nearly 70 percent of the population in Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina are overweight or obese. Hawaii has the lowest share of its population classified as overweight (57 percent). An illustration of the growing obesity pandemic in the U.S.
- Physicians and surgeons make up the largest share of workers in the top 1 percent of incomes. In Minnesota people in these occupations earn the highest average annual wages ($225,410), while those in Nebraska earn the lowest ($146,160).
- California and New York award the largest number of healthcare degrees. In 2010, California awarded the most healthcare degrees (34,600) and the most degrees in nursing (13,510), while New York awarded second most healthcare degrees (31,910) and the most degrees in medicine (1,710).
- Healthcare job opportunities will vary from state to state. New Jersey (15 percent), Maryland (14 percent), New York (14 percent), Oregon (14 percent) and California (13 percent) will have the highest concentration of doctors. Mississippi (34 percent), Alabama (33 percent), Tennessee (33 percent), Arkansas (32 percent) and Louisiana (32 percent) will have the highest concentration of opportunities for nurses. Alaska (31 percent) and Vermont (30 percent) will have the highest share of allied health professionals. New York (40 percent) and North Dakota (40 percent) will have largest share of healthcare support paraprofessionals.
Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; www.cew.georgetown.edu.