Despite Political Uncertainty, U.S. Healthcare Job Outlook at 'All-Time High'

Despite Political Uncertainty, U.S. Healthcare Job Outlook at 'All-Time High'

The healthcare job outlook in the United States is "at an all-time high," with employment prospects for physicians and clinicians stronger than ever: So explained Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare and Staff Care, in a discussion with Jim Cramer on the CBNC program "Mad Money." (Get a full recap of their conversation here.)

Citing data from the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), Salka states that there are more than a million job openings for healthcare professionals in the U.S., with an estimated 50% of openings unfilled.

That may come as no big surprise to those in the industry — healthcare jobs are typically among America's most in-demand (and highest paid). As AMN experts pointed out in late 2015, the healthcare industry "logged a 3.2% growth in employment during the 12-month period between September 2014 and September 2015," a growth that "translated into nearly a half-million jobs," and which was utterly "unprecedented" — the "healthcare industry has never before experienced employment growth of that enormity over a 12-month period."

Late in 2015, the latest BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook stated that healthcare employment "is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs" during that 10-year period.

"Healthcare occupations will add more jobs than any other group of occupations," the report points out, while a related BLS news release explains that a "slowdown of labor force growth" in the healthcare industry (due to factors explored below) "is projected to generate 9.8 million new jobs — a 6.5-percent increase between 2014 and 2024."

ACA Repeal 'Not Likely to Change' Strong Healthcare Job Outlook

What's noteworthy about Salka's conversation, however, is that, strong as the healthcare job outlook has been in recent years, it shows no signs of diminishing, even as U.S. lawmakers attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — credited by most experts as fueling the current boost in insured Americans that's seen as underpinning recent demand for physicians and clinicians. Whatever the results of the ACA repeal effort, says Salka, it's "not likely to change the increasing demand for nurses, physicians and allied professionals."

What, then, is driving this demand for healthcare professionals and thereby fueling an exceptionally strong healthcare job outlook? Salka offers a few key factors.

An aging physician workforce. "The aging of the clinical population is a huge issue," Salka tells Cramer. "Over half of nurses are 50 or older. It's even more for physicians." As more physicians and nurses plan to retire, demand for younger replacements — or even replacements among their own age group — will continue to accelerate.

An aging population. "With so many more people hitting that magic 65, there's a greater demand in utilization," Salka tells Cramer. (Read more about the implications of the aging physician workforce here.)

A shortage of physicians and clinicians. "And then amidst that, we have a shortage of clinicians," Salka adds. "In fact, we are at the beginning of what's expected to be one of the worst shortages of nurses, physicians, allied professionals and leaders within health care." (Read more about the nation's physician shortage here.)

Fortunately, Staff Care and the other healthcare staffing companies in the AMN Healthcare family are perfectly positioned to help connect the nation's doctors, nurses and clinicians with the abundance of job openings nationwide: "We are a recruitment machine," as Salka tells Cramer. As the nation's leading healthcare staffing network, we have exclusive jobs that won't be found with other recruitment firms. And for doctors or clinicians who are willing to travel to other states (or even to another city in their own states), the opportunities for locum tenens assignments are virtually limitless.

If you're a doctor, dentist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or mental health professional seeking new career horizons, there's never been a better time to test the waters. Contact us here to discover what locum tenens employment opportunities await you. We also invite you to search all available locum tenens jobs across the U.S.A. at our locums job search page.

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