Is Healthcare Staffing on the Decline?

The majority of reports predict a boom in healthcare staffing over the next decade, but the U.S. Labor Department’s jobs data for 2013 shows a disheartening trend. Healthcare staffing has witnessed steady growth for the past 20 years, but according to a recent US News article the healthcare industry might be showing signs of stagnation.

July 2013 jobs data showed that only 2,500 jobs were added in healthcare, the lowest in 10 years. So far this year, healthcare has added roughly 15,700 jobs per month. The number is far below the 26,700 monthly jobs in 2012 and 19,800 monthly jobs in 2011.

Some of the reasons for the recent downward trend may include the sluggish economy, flat household incomes and higher than average unemployment rates. Another factor may be that the health care industry is becoming more efficient and needs less staff to treat the same number of patients.

Despite the slow hiring trend in 2013, many still foresee growing healthcare employment. Uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act may be making health care employers hesitant to hire. A chief economist at HIS Global Insight predicts health care employment will rebound once companies know for certain how Obamacare will impact their business.