Healthcare Creates 169K Jobs Halfway Through 2012

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 9, 2012

"That tends to mean more people are looking for a job. They're willing to quit where they are and try something new. That is all somewhat positive. The net result is a lot of additional new hires," she says.

And even though skilled healthcare workers remain in high demand, Shelp says there is evidence that hospitals, physicians' offices and other healthcare employers are ready to replace low-performing or malcontent workers. "They are willing to get rid of the person who is not right," she says.

BLS data shows ambulatory services, which include physicians' offices, led healthcare with 4,800 new jobs in June. Nursing homes created 4,500 jobs and hospitals created 3,700 jobs.  BLS data from May and June are preliminary and may be revised considerably in the coming months.

Shelp says "demand for nurses more or less has been in the same ballpark since 2005," when the HWOL data series began. "We're talking just under 250,000 ads a month that are looking for nurses, new ads and reposted ads," she says. "Because the number of people who are qualified for nursing jobs hasn't changed, we see what is beginning to grow is the demand for nursing assistants and a big increase in the need for healthcare support functions."

"I look at physical therapist, for example. That demand has gone up. Occupational therapists have definitely gone up. Physicians' assistants clearly have gone up," Shelp says. "When you can't find the right person, then you begin to change what it is exactly that you need."

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