Aging population will continue to drive healthcare job growth

In spite of efforts to extend their longevity and youth, Baby Boomers are aging and nearing retirement, which will create millions of jobs in the healthcare industry, USA Today reports.

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, the number of jobs that involve caring for them will continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that altogether, the healthcare sector is expected to grow at a 2.6 percent annual rate until 2022 and comprise about 5 million of the 15.6 million new jobs created during that period.

"The aging of the population is the primary contributor," Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Michael Wolf told USA Today, although he added that the expansion of treatment options and healthcare technology will also spur job growth.

About half of the 30 fastest-growing job categories will include home health aides, physician assistants and occupational therapy assistants. Medical billing coders, nurses, and in the executive suite, chief medical officers and chief informatics officers, are among the most current in-demand jobs.

Despite the rosy forecasts, some economists are concerned that the reason behind the industry's relatively strong job growth is due to inefficiencies in its delivery. They noted that inpatient days at hospitals dropped significantly over the past decade, while the workforce continued to grow at a rapid clip, which they consider a dislocation of supply and demand.

Post-secondary education will be crucial for Americans who want to earn a decent wage in healthcare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those jobs requiring a college degree will grow at a much faster rate and pay more than twice the jobs requiring only a high school education.

To learn more:
- read the USA Today article
- here's the Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement