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2016 could be a massive year for health employment jobs
April 4, 2016
Data has repeatedly shown that the health insurance industry is in great shape when it comes to its ability to bring on more workers, and to that end, recent years have been big for hiring in the field. So far in 2016, it seems those trends will continue to hold steady, because a huge number of health care jobs were created in the first three months of the new year, and indicators suggest that trend is likely to continue.
In fact, during the month of March alone, the health care industry accounted for about 1 in every 6 new jobs created, adding about 36,800 positions nationwide, according to a report from Modern Healthcare. And over the first quarter of the year, the field created close to 118,000 positions. That puts the industry on track to add more jobs than the 438,800 seen last year, which was itself a record.
A closer look at the numbers That March number of nearly 37,000 health care jobs was actually down from the roughly 40,000 seen in both January and February, the report said. This was true in part because the nursing sector actually shed a small number of jobs in March, after adding more sizable chunks the previous two months. Nonetheless, the industry continues to be driven forward by hiring practices at ambulatory services and hospitals.
For ambulatory services, March was actually quite a busy month for hiring, at 27,400 jobs added nationwide, the report said. That was down from 28,700 in February, but up from just 19,700 in January. Meanwhile, hospital hiring cleared 10,200 or so, down from both January (19,500) and February (11,500). Finally, nursing and residential care jobs declined by 800, reversing a trend of 500 added in February and 1,200 from January.
What's the impact? More jobs being added is, of course, a good thing for the broader economy, and in particular the industries that are doing the hiring in the first place, the report said. However, some economists fear that increased hiring in the health care field could simply mean that a growing number of Americans are spending more money on their health costs in general. This is further problematic because, as hiring increases, more people are getting health insurance coverage, but may see rising deductibles and other sharp increases to out-of-pocket expenses.
All of that can put more of a financial strain on consumers, especially if they have chronic health conditions. Indeed, one of the big issues that many health care providers and insurers alike have found in recent years is that consumers generally do not understand their coverage in the first place, which leads to miscommunications and major billing problems.
However, because this health care job growth is expected to continue for some time to come, there's likely to be more opportunities for those pursuing a career in the field. And because those careers tend to be some of the highest-paying available, that could have a positive long-term impact not only workers, but the economy as a whole.