Healthcare tops fastest-growing jobs, but monthly growth slows

Healthcare jobs are high on the list of fastest-growing U.S. occupations, according to a Career Builder report, despite the latest economic indicators from Altarum Institute that job growth in the healthcare sector slowed in October.

Personal care aides and home health aides top the list of the projected fastest-growing job fields in all industries between now and 2017, according to the Career Builder report. Both positions are projected to increase by 21 percent over the next four years.

But they aren't the only jobs in the healthcare sector appearing in the top 20 slots: medical secretaries come in fourth, medical assistants are ranked eighth followed by registered nurses in ninth position; nursing assistants are in the 18th slot, and licensed practical and vocational nurses rank 19th.

Jobs in the healthcare sector requiring more training are projected to grow quickly, even if they will not necessarily add a large number of jobs, according to the report. "Looking only at the fastest-growing jobs requiring a bachelor's degree or higher, it appears workers in allied health and other health care related occupations are the clear winners," the report states. Of these jobs, biomedical engineers are first, health educators come in 11th, and healthcare social workers are 13th.

Meanwhile, the healthcare sector added only 15,000 jobs in October, a decrease from the average of 17,000 new jobs per month for the first 10 months of the year and a significant decrease from the 21,000-per-month two-year average, according to the latest economic indicators released by the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Hospitals added 2,200 jobs, which is below-average growth but still an increase from the 1,400 added in September. Nursing and residential care facilities added about 1,800 jobs.

Hospital job growth is significantly down this year from 2012, according to the Altarum Institute report. Hospitals have added an average of 1,000 jobs per month in 2013, compared to 6,000 from January to October 2012. Additionally, figures for hospital jobs in August and September declined, bringing September to a 2,500-job loss, the first monthly healthcare job loss in more than 10 years, according to the report.

To learn more:
- here's the Career Builder report (.pdf)
- read the Altarum Institute report (.pdf)