2011 Healthcare Employment Outlook

2011 Healthcare Employment Outlook

For healthcare professionals and aspirants, 2011 will be a building year. Healthcare hiring may pick up a bit after slow growth in 2009 and 2010, but several factors will continue to constrain the creation of jobs and limit career mobility. 

Still, healthcare continues to be the countercyclical career success story of the great recession. From the start of the downturn in December 2007 until September 2010, the healthcare sector grew by 720,000 jobs, while all other industries lost nearly 8.5 million jobs, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Altarum Institute’s Center for Studying Health Spending, a research and consulting organization.

And in the long term, healthcare is still expected to be a driver of broad economic expansion as well as a source for job growth. From 2008 to 2018, healthcare and social-assistance employment will expand by nearly 4 million jobs, to 19.8 million, according BLS projections.

The Economy Is Still a Drag on Healthcare Job Growth

Joblessness -- especially long-term unemployment -- is near its recent high, so consumers’ lack of insurance and general belt-tightening are holding down healthcare utilization.

“The economy is reducing the demand for nursing jobs,” says Brenda Morris, RN, senior director of baccalaureate programs at Arizona State University’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation. “Patients are delaying elective procedures, and nurses are postponing retirement.”

In a fiscal environment where many providers -- especially hospitals -- are in precarious condition, slack demand quickly trickles down to healthcare employment. As the Altarum report notes, “the rate of growth in healthcare employment fell considerably during the most recent recession, though it remained comfortably positive.”

Hiring Picks Up -- Slightly

But there are signs that healthcare hiring trends will improve in 2011 -- at least a bit. “We’re seeing a very, very slight increase in openings in nursing and allied health,” says Dennis Yee, a recruitment consultant at Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera, California, and president of the National Association for Health Care Recruitment.

Entrants to healthcare fields, even those that have suffered serious labor shortages for years, will likely continue to find their options limited. “It’s taking our graduates longer to find a job,” Morris says. “They’re often not able to get their first or second choices, and it’s very difficult to get a first job in specialties like pediatrics, perinatal or ICU.” Many nursing graduates take a med/surg starter job by default, she says.

Still, 65 percent of new BSN grads had a job offer upon graduation in 2010; four to six months later, a total of 89 percent had secured offers, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“The educational requirements for some jobs have been raised,” Yee says, with some physical therapy and rehabilitation jobs, for example, now requiring a doctorate. In nursing, “the advantage of a baccalaureate over an associate’s degree in nursing has gotten greater,” Morris says.

Despite Politics and Court Battles, Reform Likely Will Create Jobs

The 30 million Americans who are scheduled to gain insurance coverage under healthcare reform will double their use of healthcare, which should drive hiring, says Charles Roehrig, director of the Altarum center.

But clouds of doubt continue to swirl around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “Hospitals don’t know what’s going to happen with healthcare reform -- what will stick, what Congress will do,” says Peter Ferguson, senior vice president of health and life sciences at Yoh, a Philadelphia-based recruitment and staffing firm. Ongoing legal challenges to healthcare reform virtually guarantee the uncertainty will continue for years.

Yet “healthcare executives are behaving as if they expect reform to happen,” Roehrig says. Hospitals, for example, are beginning to buy up primary-care groups.

“Under healthcare reform there will be more opportunities for professionals who supply more physician services without increasing the number of physicians -- nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical assistants,” Roehrig says. However, state and federal budget deficits will constrain hiring somewhat for the foreseeable future largely due to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid funding. “And with incentives to keep hospital costs down, the rate of growth in hospital employment is likely to stay low,” he adds.

For his part, Yee says he’s taking a more short-term view. “We’re more focused on our immediate needs that we can [grasp], versus healthcare reform over the next few years,” he says.

Still, many healthcare occupations are projected to expand mightily over the coming decade. Among the 30 jobs projected to grow the fastest from 2008 to 2018, seven are in healthcare: RNs (582,000 more jobs); home-health aides (461,000); personal and home-care aides (376,000); nursing aides, orderlies and attendants (276,000); medical assistants (164,000); licensed practical nurses/licensed vocational nurses (156,000); and physicians and surgeons (144,000).

Learn more about healthcare careers.

Latest Jobs

Posted: 05/28/2015
Green Bay, WI, 54306
Posted: 05/28/2015
Lawrence, PA, 15055
Posted: 05/28/2015
Jupiter, FL, 33458
Posted: 05/28/2015
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Posted: 05/28/2015
Mountain View, CA, 94043

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-208