In February 2011, 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. is in health care employment; nearly 14 million people in the U.S. work in health care employment, with health care representing 10.7% of all jobs in America. The growth rate of health care jobs rose 1.2 percentage points since the recession kicked in late 2007. Since the start of the recession, health employment grew 6.3%; the number of non-health jobs fell by 6.8%. The chart starkly illustrates this story.

Altarum Institute has crunched the health job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and published their analysis in Health Sector Economic Indicators, published February 9, 2011. Altarum’s top-line: health care employment has reached an “all-time high” in the U.S.

Outpatient care settings accounted for the fastest-growth in jobs with a 12-month rate of increase of 5.3%. The hospital segment grew the slowest, at a mere 0.7% — basically flat-lining (though still representing, by far, the largest segment in terms of jobs). Home health jobs grew by 4.3%.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  It is impossible to separate the U.S. health microeconomy from the nation’s macroeconomy. With only 39,000 new jobs added to the U.S. economy in January 2011, we economists look for bright signs wherever we can find them. One-third of this increase in total new employment was in health care.

The number of jobs in the health sector will continue to grow. This will continue to be the case for the next decade, at least. Among many drivers for health job growth, two are at the top of the list in 2011: health information technology and the aging of the population. There will be intense demand for workers skilled in health information technology, based on the adoption of electronic health records by providers (both doctors and hospitals), along with growing digitization of all health information generated by digital imaging, point-of-care diagnostics, smart infusion pumps, and other medical devices. Dr. Blackford Middleton of Partners HealthCare projects a need for an additional 40,000 to 160,000 workers in health IT in the coming years.

As for aging, the chart shows already-growing demand for more home care workers. Boomers won’t age quietly into that good night, wishing to avoid institutional care in nursing homes. So home care work will be re-defined back in the person’s home — requiring even more digitally savvy workers to re-imagine and re-design what home care is. This will mean more jobs for new kinds of design and ideation, applying the disciplines of anthropology and sociology, and of course, more IT developers who can marry, say, miniature accelerometers to milk bottles and sensors to scales.

How we define health care jobs today will morph into a new definition for jobs in health tomorrow.

7 Comments on 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. is in health care – an all-time high that will go even higher

frank roberts said : Guest Report 8 years ago

I Agree lot of Improvement is happening is health care industry.Health Information Technology is reaching at new horizons.

1 in 9 US Jobs Is In Health Care – An All Time High That Will Go Higher | Care And Cost said : Guest Report 10 years ago

[...] published 2/10/11 on Health [...]

MBA Medical Billing Services said : Guest Report 10 years ago

Not to oversimplify, but as long as we continue to get heavier, and thus, less healthy, health care jobs will not just be stable, but continue to rise.

links for 2011-02-09 | Bio-Digital Jazz said : Guest Report 10 years ago

[...] 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. is in health care – an all-time high that will go even higher | Health Po... RT @healthythinker: 1 in 10 jobs in US is in health care-major bright spot in job growth in post-recession economy. And that # will grow … (tags: via:packrati.us) [...]

Lou Bottitta said : Guest Report 10 years ago

Good analysis -- we've certainly seen this swing in jobs in the Lehigh Valley. Our top two employers are Lehigh Valley Health Network and St Lukes Health Network.... long gone are the days when Bethlehem Steel, Mack Trucks and numberous cement and manufacturing companiues dominated our local economy.

Shea Steinberg said : Guest Report 10 years ago

A lot of the growth can be attributed to the rise of electronic medical record adoption and the growth of those EMR systems . With the huge investment (ARRA) that the government put into HIT the healthcare system is only going to get bigger and better.

Tweets that mention 1 in 10 jobs in the U.S. is in health care – an all-time high that will go even higher | Health Populi -- Topsy.com said : Guest Report 10 years ago

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