Nation's Health Care Employment
to Outpace Other Job Growth Reports UAlbany's
Center for Health Workforce Studies
increased demand for services project critical
Contact: Michael Parker (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (September 2, 2004) -- Employment
in the health sector is projected to grow by
3.5 million jobs between 2002 and 2012, according
to a report issued by the University at Albany's
Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School
of Public Health.
The report, "Health Care Employment Projections:
An Analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Projections,
2002-2012" examined the calculations and
summarized the most significant findings related
to health sector employment and health occupations.
Health sector employment is expected to grow
by 3.5 million jobs, or 30 percent, compared
to a 13.5 percent growth rate for non-health
sector employment. The estimates are slightly
higher than actual growth for 1992-2002.
"Increased demand for health services
and health workers is clearly related to the
‘graying’ of the US population," said Jean
Moore, director of the center. "The US
is experiencing a dramatic growth in its elderly
population. The percentage of the total US population
that is elderly is expected to increase from
over 12% in 2000 to nearly 17% in 2020. This
will fuel growing demand for health care services."
The percentage of workers in health care occupations
as it relates to the total U.S. workforce is
also expected to grow from 8 percent to 9 percent,
a jump from 7 percent in 1992. But projections
indicate that 3.3 million health workers will
be needed to fill new positions created as a
result of growth in health occupations, while
an additional 2 million workers will be needed
to replace individuals who leave their positions.
"At the same time that the aging US population
increases demand for health care services, it
will also affect the supply of health workers,"
said Moore. "For example, according to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age
for a registered nurse is 43, older than the
median age of the overall American workforce,
40. Many registered nurses will retire from
the profession at the same time as health sector
employment expands. BLS estimates that between
2002 and 2012, over 1 million new registered
nurses will be needed to fill new jobs and to
replace those leaving the field. The aging of
the health workforce has the potential to create
future health workforce shortages."
Health care employment is growing fastest in
the offices of health practitioners and in other
ambulatory health settings, at rates of 3.9
and 3.3 percent respectively, compared to an
average annual growth rate of 1.4 percent for
the entire economy. Fifteen of the top 30 fastest
growing positions in the U.S. will be in health-related
fields, including 6 in the top-10, including
medical assistants, physician assistants and
home health aides.
For more information, visit the Center for
Health Workforce studies at http://chws.albany.edu/.
The Center for Health Workforce
Studies at the University at Albany's School
of Public Health conducts studies of the supply,
demand, use and education of the health workforce,
and collects and analyzes data to understand
workforce dynamics and trends. It is one of
six regional centers devoted to health workforce
studies with a cooperative agreement with U.S.
Department of Health's Health Resources and
Services Administration/Bureau of Health Professions.