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Healthcare continues to stand out in job market

Friday June 8, 2012
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In the wake of a disappointing jobs report for May, the healthcare sector remained a bright spot in the labor market.

Of 69,000 non-farm jobs added during the month, 32,800 were in healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Along with the transportation and warehousing sector (35,600), healthcare accounted for virtually all of the net increase in jobs for the month. The only other sector to make significant gains was wholesale trade (15,600), with many other industries losing substantial numbers of jobs.

Ambulatory care services represented the bulk of the job gains in healthcare, with 22,800. Those positions were in physician offices (9,900), outpatient care centers (4,600) and home care services (6,900). Hospitals added 4,500 jobs, while nursing and residential care facilities added 5,500.

The demand for healthcare employees shows no signs of ebbing. Employers posted more than 620,000 job ads for healthcare careers online in May, according to data from Wanted Analytics. That number is a 5% increase from the same month last year and a 14% jump from 2010. Of the postings, 68% came from healthcare employers and the rest from staffing firms and recruiting agencies.

RN positions ranked third among the listings for healthcare jobs, behind physical therapist and occupational therapist. General med/surg hospitals had the most available job listings, with more than 52,000 ads. Other settings with high volumes of ads were physician offices, home care services, outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers and ambulatory healthcare services.

The highest number of healthcare job postings was in the New York area, which had 20,688 available, representing a 16% increase from 2011. Other metro areas in the top 10 were Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, Miami and Atlanta. In eight of those 10 areas, job postings increased compared with the prior year, led by a 25.8% jump in Houston. Declines from the year before occurred in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Nationally, job ads were posted for an average of about six weeks, suggesting that is the approximate amount of time needed to find a qualified candidate and fill the position.


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