Economist: 2013 a 'Banner Year' for Healthcare Jobs

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media , January 7, 2013

Last month, for example,  ambulatory care created 23,000 jobs, approximately 57% of healthcare's total job growth. These numbers are fairly consistent with a year ago, when ambulatory care services created 59% of the industry's monthly job growth. Ambulatory care created 187,000 jobs total in 2011. And In 2012, ambulatory care created 192,100 jobs. Pauly expects that trend to continue through 2013.

"In the composition of healthcare jobs, more than half of them are in ambulatory care, which probably reflects the shift to primary care and outpatient care that is emphasized in healthcare reform. People are trying to get a head start on that. It continues to be a source of solid growth," says Pauly.

"There was a decline in doctor's visits from 2008 to 2011 in terms of the number of office visits and that should turn around now that the economy is recovering, along with the demand for staff and supplies that come along with that," Ellis says.

Even with the New Year's Day fiscal cliff deal's moderate impact on reimbursements for hospitals, Pauly doesn't anticipate shifting budgets to impact hiring.

"Hospitals are irritated because they might need to move some of their employment around, but I think they'll be able to do it. It's easier to postpone capital spending than it is to postpone the hiring of workers to treat the people sitting in your waiting room. With [healthcare] reform, hiring is only going to increase to serve the new patients that are coming in because they now have insurance," he says.

Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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