Healthcare to add 4.2M jobs by 2020

Healthcare jobs will grow twice as fast as the general economy, with an additional 4.2 million jobs by 2020, according to a study by Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany. Nearly one in nine U.S. jobs will be in the healthcare sector by 2020, the report states.

"Health sector jobs and health occupations have continued to grow, even in a weak economy, and will remain a major source of jobs for years to come." Center for Health Workforce Studies Director Jean Moore said in a research announcement Friday.

While jobs across industries fell 2 percent between 2000 and 2010, healthcare employment grew by more than a quarter throughout the same period, even during the economic downturn.

"One of the things I wasn't expecting was how much growth there was even during the recession," Moore told Kaiser Health News. "I would have expected some tempering of the growth."

The study, which analyzes the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected data, predicts healthcare employment will soar at hospitals, as well as at other outside settings, such as schools and insurance companies.

Hospitals will see gains, rising from 5.7 million jobs in 2010 to 6.6 million in 2020, according to the report, a growth rate of 17 percent, as baby boomers age and require more inpatient care, Kaiser Health News reported. Researchers found that about 63 percent of the healthcare jobs will be concentrated in ambulatory care, such as health practitioners' offices, home health and other non-institutional settings.

Projected healthcare jobs by setting in 2020



Health practitioners' offices


Nursing homes


Home health care


Other ambulatory care


The job titles that will see the biggest boom over the decade are registered nurses, home health aides and personal care aides, adding more than 2 million jobs and another 700,000 job openings due to vacancies from attrition by 2020, according to the press release.

"With an aging health care professional workforce, we will not only see new job growth but also openings in existing positions as workers retire or leave for other job opportunities," principal report author Robert Martiniano said in the announcement.

The report indicates the healthcare industry will need nearly 7.5 million health workers nationally to fill new jobs and to replace workers who leave their positions.

For more information:
- check out the study (.pdf)
- read the press release
- read the Kaiser Health News article

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