A new report released today shows that the growth of overall online job listings in most employment sectors ended 2009 on a positive note in December, with demand for healthcare practitioners, technicians, and support personnel leading the rally.
The Conference Board's Help Wanted Online Data Series, which tracks more than 1,000 online job boards across the United States, found that advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, the largest category by volume, also posted the largest December gain, with 45,100 new online listings, for a total of 541,400 online listings.
The sector had 497,400 online job vacancy listings in November, and 533,300 in October. Job demand was up in a wide variety of these healthcare occupations, including registered nurses and physical and occupational therapists. Demand for lower-paying healthcare support occupations rose by 9,200 listings in December—to 111,900, the report showed.
Because healthcare is such a broad field, the report noted that the demand for labor varies substantially from the highly specialized, highly skilled, and higher-paying practitioner and technical jobs to the lower-paying support occupations.
"In November, the last month for which unemployment data are available, advertised vacancies for healthcare practitioners or technical occupations outnumbered the unemployed looking for work in this field by almost three to one, and the average wage in these occupations is $32.64/hour. In sharp contrast, the average wage for healthcare support occupations is $12.66/hour and there were almost three unemployed looking for work in the field for every advertised vacancy," the report noted.