labor statistics

Health Affairs

In many ways, health-sector jobs helped the US economy recover from the financial crisis of 2007–08: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2006 and 2016, 2.8 million jobs were added to the health sector at a rate of growth almost seven times faster than the rest of the economy. Over the decade, jobs in health care settings grew more the 20 percent, while jobs in the remainder of the economy only grew 3 percent. Although the BLS projects that the rate of growth in jobs in health care settings will decrease slightly in the decade from 2016 to 2026, the projected growth of jobs in health care settings (18 percent) will continue to be far more rapid than in the remainder of the economy, which is projected to grow at a rate of 6 percent. Thus, health care jobs are still projected to grow at three times the rate of the rest of the economy during the next decade.

Every two years the BLS publishes 10-year occupational and industry projections for employment in the US. The data cover hundreds of occupations and settings. The BLS also provides historical data on employment trends over the prior decade. To make the relevant data on health occupations and settings more accessible to the health community, the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) provides a report summarizing and analyzing the data for the health sector and health occupations. The CHWS report on the 2016–26 projections was recently released and has a wealth of interesting data. This posting provides some of the highlights of the recent BLS data from the CHWS report.

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