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Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers

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Health care, an important source of jobs in the US economy, accounts for nearly 13 percent of private sector employment. Unfortunately, despite rapid job growth in the sector, we’ve also seen wages of many healthcare workers in this critical area of our economy stagnate.

Demographic Trends in Healthcare Have Led to a More Diverse Workforce

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Employment trends in hospitals and outpatient settings are consistent with the strategies of organizational restructuring that hospitals have undertaken. Hospitals continue to hire the largest share of workers, with employment rising from 5.25 million jobs in 2005 to 5.75 million in 2015 — a growth rate of almost 10 percent.

Workers Were Older and More Highly Educated in 2015 than in 2005; Wages Were Stagnant or Fell

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Jobs in the two largest nonprofessional occupation groups ― medical technicians and health aides and assistants ― grew 17.2 percent and 20.0 percent respectively, and in 2015 the number of workers in these jobs reached 5.5 million.

Organizational Restructuring in U.S. Healthcare Systems
Implications for Jobs, Wages, and Inequality

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The healthcare sector is one of the most important sources of jobs in the economy. Healthcare spending reached $3.2 trillion in 2015 or 17.8 percent of GDP and accounted for 12.8 percent of private sector jobs. It was the only industry that consistently added jobs during the Great Recession. In 2016, this sector added 381,000 […]