Healthcare job growth booms in last decade, continued expansion expected

Job growth in the healthcare sector of the economy has boomed in the past decade, with millions of jobs being added to the industry in recent years. Healthcare hiring is projected to remain steady in its current format, allowing for further advances through the end of 2013.

Hiring in the non-healthcare economy has only grown by 2.1 percent in the past decade, but healthcare has grown at a rate more than ten times this amount, increasing by more than 20 percent and adding 2.6 million jobs for workers since 2003, according to The Atlantic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics specifically estimates that the two fastest-growing jobs in the next decade will be in the healthcare sector. As the population ages and the number of elderly citizens increases, there will be a strong need for personal care aides and home health aides, and thus numerous positions, especially temporary ones, remain vacant. Those already within the healthcare field may want to consider one of these growing opportunities, given the nature of the work and high demand for qualified applicants.

Steady hiring expected through end of year

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, in 2013, permanent and temporary hiring alike are both expected to show improvements over the latter half of 2012. Fifty-one percent of healthcare employers plan to hire full-time employees through the end of 2013, a two percent increase from 2012, while temporary and contract hiring will rise sharply, as high as 15 percent over 2012 (rising from 12 percent to 27 percent). Temporary work provides individuals with a chance to bolster their skill set and resume, while also providing an introduction into a new area within the healthcare industry. The ever-changing healthcare sector – thanks to tech advances and the Affordable Care Act – has placed a premium on numerous skills, and employees should try to show they have the skills to adjust to any major transitions within the industry.

"We foresee an even greater need for temporary clinical staff as the U.S. works towards improving the healthcare system to increase access and lower costs," explains Allison Fagan, a Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group's Healthcare division. "These changes have created a volatile environment due to a large number of mergers and acquisitions amongst managed care facilities and physician groups, so organizations that were once independent are turning to healthcare recruiters to fill their staffing needs. Before they begin to make permanent hiring decisions, they often need to evaluate how many people they need to have on staff to ensure their newly formed organization operates efficiently, and temporary staff allows them to do this effectively."

Candidates looking to enter the healthcare field or advance their medical career should be excited by this news, as strong growth will have promising effects on their chances to land a position. Healthcare recruiters may become an especially fruitful tool for job hopefuls to use, as staffing services have the resources to assist job searches through training, application assistance and strong connections with healthcare providers looking for the best new hires they can find.

New technology is playing an even larger role in the healthcare field, with advances like social media and big data becoming more necessary in today's modern business environment. Thirty-seven percent of employers told CareerBuilder they are looking into jobs tied to health information services and technology, while another 10 percent plan to hire in positions using cloud technology for off-site data storage.