Healthcare Hiring to Continue, Albeit Slowly, in 2011

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 24, 2011

Cherner attributes the slowdown to continued layoffs by hospitals that are coping with reimbursement cuts from Medicare, declines in demand for elective surgeries, and the continuing waves of hospital and health system consolidations that are likely to continue into the near future.

"That being said, looking forward there are some bright spots," Cherner says. "Community health centers, a key component of healthcare delivery, are getting a tremendous amount of investment over the next five years that will likely fuel notable additional hiring across the country in 2011 and beyond. And on the hospital side, on the patient care services side, there is not much more for hospitals to cut without impacting quality. So, many of the cuts that will be made because of the decline in demand will be made in non-patient care personnel."

Among the LMPI findings for the fourth quarter of 2010:

  • After a relatively strong year compared to other sectors, the strength of the national healthcare labor market remained flat across a number of major metropolitan areas.
  • The LMPI composite index, a representative basket of the 30 largest markets, posted a 3% decline in the fourth quarter of 2010 from the 3rd quarter of 2010, after a 13% decline the prior quarter.
  • For the 4th quarter that ended Dec. 31, 14 markets of the 30 tracked by the LMPI showed signs of accelerated expansion -- compared with 10 markets in the third quarter.

It's important to remember that while things could be better in healthcare hiring, they could be a lot worse, too.


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