This Month's News
By 2020, 5.6 million more health care professionals needed
Health care demand will grow twice as fast as the national economy over the next eight years, creating 5.6 million new jobs, according to a new study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. In addition, about four out of every five new jobs will require postsecondary education and training.
"In health care, there are really two labor markets: professional and support," said Anthony P. Carnevale, the center's director and the report's lead author. Professional jobs demand postsecondary training and advanced degrees, while support jobs demand high school and some college. There is "minimal mobility" between the two, he added, "and the pay gap is enormous: The average professional worker makes 2.5 times as much as the average support worker."
The health care industry is supported by people in a host of related jobs, such as hospital accountants, pharmaceutical sales representatives, physician's office secretaries and so on. If you include all of these behind-the-scenes players, the health care industry will grow from 15.6 million jobs in 2010 to 19.8 million in 2020 – 13 percent of all jobs.
Among the study's other major findings:
- The increase in bachelor degree requirements in nursing is crowding out disadvantaged minorities. A total of 51 percent of white nurses under 40 years old have bachelor's degrees, compared to only 46 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of African American nurses.
- Health care has the largest number and proportion of foreign-born and foreign-trained workers in the U.S. Among health care 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.