Talent Tuesday: Healthcare Jobs Report and Outlook

Healthcare Jobs Report Summary

  • Healthcare is amongst the oldest workforce
  • The global pandemic and shifting demands are distorting the market
  • New avenues for consumers to receive care, such as telehealth
  • Technological advancements are creating new healthcare markets

How was 2020 for Healthcare Jobs?

It is no secret that healthcare is one of the biggest industries in the U.S. and also one of the most heavily regulated. The $4 trillion healthcare industry continued to grow in 2020, adding to the more than 399,000 jobs created in 2019. The increased demand in the market due to COVID-19 and the pandemic’s wider implication, combined with an aging population, increased demand on telemedicine, has resulted in an increase in healthcare sector job opportunities.

A new, growing trend in the healthcare industry is consumer use of technology, especially virtual communications and tele-visits. Emerging technologies that are available to the average American has changed how consumers access healthcare professionals. These new technologies include tools such as ZocDoc and Teladoc make online communication with doctors simple and effective, which sets up a paradigm shift in the industry in the coming years.

How 2021 is Going

New generations have a habit of replacing old methods and this phenomenon can be observed in the healthcare industry. A survey conducted by the American Medical Association indicated that more than more healthcare consumers are willing to have a video visit with a physician. In fact, health professionals are reporting seeing 50x to 175x the number of patients via telehealth.

As consumers and providers become more comfortable with technology we can expect to see a greater amount of healthcare interaction done via technological means. This includes the use of telemedicine such as the mobile app Heal, which will send a doctor to your home for a fee of $99.

Where is the Healthcare Jobs growth?

Jobs in healthcare are filled with an older workforce, leaving much room for future job growth as a large number of healthcare workers will retire and exit the workforce in the near future. Here are some statistics from the Department of Labor that demonstrate this point: the average age of a nurse is 50, a quarter of all physicians are 60 or older, and 80 percent of dentists are older than 45.

The age of the U.S. healthcare workforce presents a huge opportunity for job growth in the near future. An Institute of Medicine report projects that an extra 3.5 million health care workers will be needed by 2030 to keep the current U.S. worker to population ratio.

The healthcare market is also likely to experience growth through the use of technology. Applications such as Teledoc and ZocDoc will lead to an increase in home doctor visits because it provides easy access to a doctor without having to deal with any bureaucratic red tape. Of course, whenever a new service emerges it is likely to be regulated, so legislature may very well kill any growth in the healthcare sector from these technological advancements – however, sentiment has changed as the global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed areas of the healthcare industry that are ripe for disruption and necessary change.

Healthcare Job Market Challenges

The huge potential for growth as older healthcare professionals retire also presents a challenge for the healthcare industry. In fact, 30% of physicians are between the ages of 56 and 65. The situation is even more stark for dentists, where 16.1% are over the age of 65, and 21.9% are between the ages of 55 and 64. The healthcare labor market will experience a shortage of qualified professionals if there are not enough young people training for jobs in healthcare. This is good news for healthcare professionals because they will see an increase in wages to capture limited talent, but also means increased costs and possible waiting lines if the labor shortage is large enough.

Whether they’re desirable or not, economic regulations distort market efficiencies. Regulations in the healthcare industry are not going away and will likely increase if the market experiences labor shortages because there won’t be enough healthcare professionals in every city. Additional regulations that telemedicine will potentially face poses a challenge against advancing technology and will retard growth if implemented.

This article was originally published on the Clarke Caniff Strategic Search website and is republished here with permission.