Healthcare Online Job Ads Drop in May

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , June 2, 2010

Online job ads for healthcare practitioners, technicians, and support staff fell by 82,800 listings in May for a total of 540,400 listings, ending six months of steady growth, reports The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series.

The report, which tracks more than 1,000 online job boards across the United States, attributed the May drop to decreases in demand for physical and occupational therapists, RNs, and speech pathologists. Demand for healthcare support occupations fell by 16,600 listings in May to 111,800, reflecting a drop in demand for physical and occupational therapist assistants, nursing aids, and medical assistants.

Demand in the healthcare labor market varies substantially from the higher-paying practitioner and technical jobs to the lower-paying support occupations.

In April, using the latest figures available, advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners or technical occupations outnumbered the unemployed looking for work in this field by nearly 3 to 1, and the average wage in these occupations is $33.51 per hour, the report said. The average wage for healthcare support occupations is $12.84 per hour and there were more than two unemployed people looking for work in the field for every advertised vacancy, the report said.

Overall, online job ads in most employment sectors across the economy—in most parts of the nation—remained flat in May with 4.1 million job listings reported for the month. The lull ends a six-month surging of more than 750,000 new job listings, the report said.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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