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Study: Health care job sector continuing strong growth

Study: Health care job sector continuing strong growth

Overall employment jumped 24 percent
Study: Health care job sector continuing strong growth
Photographer: Shutterstock

ALBANY -- Details of a new report on the health care industry may be news to a lot of people, but the conclusion should surprise no one: The health workforce is seeing continued, strong growth.

The University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies announced the report results Thursday and noted that home health care and ambulatory care are showing particularly strong job growth: 136 percent and 30 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2014.

Overall health care employment jumped 24 percent statewide during that period.

Here in the Capital Region, the two largest private-sector employers are both based within a few miles of UAlbany and are both hospital/medical provider networks: St. Peter’s Health Partners and Albany Medical Center.

Together they have nearly 22,000 employees.

In a prepared statement accompanying the report, Robert Martiniano, senior program manager at CHWS, said that, despite the health workforce growth, patients in some areas of New York lack access to services because care providers are unable to fill job vacancies.

“Workforce recruitment and retention can be problematic for primary care providers and behavioral health providers, resulting in delays in obtaining needed services for patients,” he said.

Some key findings in the report:

  • Health care is the fastest-growing sector in the state and now accounts for about 12 percent of total employment in New York, or nearly one in eight employees.
  • Home health aides, personal care aides, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are among the fastest growing medical occupations in New York.
  • Over the next eight years, the state Department of Labor projects growing demand for direct care workers, including home health and personal care aides, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and social workers.
  • The hardest occupations to recruit for in New York in 2016 were RNs, LPNs, PAs and clinical laboratory technologists at hospitals; speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and RNs at home health agencies; and RNs, LPNs and certified nurse aides at nursing homes.

CHWS Director Jean Moore said in the prepared statement that the goal of the report is to help the health care industry and those connected with it more effectively target health workforce education, job training and provider incentive resources; guide health workforce policies; and inform current and prospective students about health care employment prospects and opportunities.

The Center for Health Workforce Studies, established in 1996, is an academic research center based at the School of Public Health on UAlbany’s Health Sciences Campus. It is one of seven such centers in the United States.

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