Broad Demand for Healthcare Workers Seen in Most US Markets

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , January 15, 2010

The demand for healthcare workers appears to be accelerating in most areas of the nation, a new study shows.

Labor trends in 30 markets tracked by the consulting firm Health Workforce Solutions LLC found demand growing fastest in Sacramento, Riverside/San Bernardino, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Dallas for the fourth quarter of 2009. The New York/Northern New Jersey area ranked at the bottom of the 30 markets tracked.

"After several slow quarters, we are now seeing notable movement across a number of markets as healthcare employers begin to ramp up again," said David Cherner, managing partner of San Francisco-based HWS. "With the healthcare reform picture finally becoming clearer, many forward-thinking organizations appear to be refocusing back on their hiring needs at an opportune time before the competition for key clinical and ancillary personnel undoubtedly returns."

HWS' Labor Market Pulse Index also found that:

  • Much of the growth is being fueled by newly announced expansion plans and larger facility openings at organizations, such as Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Sacramento, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals in Cleveland, and Texas Health Resources in Dallas.

  • Of the 30 major markets tracked, the slowest area for the quarter, the New York metro/Northern New Jersey area, remained relatively flat, dropping 4% from the prior quarter.

  • The Labor Market Pulse Index composite index, a representative basket of the 30 largest markets, posted a 19.5% increase in the fourth quarter of 2009 from the third quarter of 2009 and was up 17.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.

  • For the fourth quarter of 2009, 21 markets of the 30 tracked by the LMPI showed signs of accelerated demand, up from 16 in the third quarter.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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