Workforce Data: January 2016

Healthcare Employment Strong at Year-End

The year 2015 came to a close with continued growth in healthcare jobs, capping off a very strong employment year for the industry.

Healthcare employment improved by more than 39,000 jobs in the last month of 2015. Specifically, healthcare employment grew from 15,299,000 in November to 15,338,400, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that growth, 23,400 were jobs in ambulatory care facilities while 12,300 jobs were added by hospitals.

For the year 2015, healthcare averaged employment growth of 40,000 jobs per month in 2015, compared with 26,000 per month in 2014.


Medical School Enrollment Continues to Grow

News from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) about medical school enrollment might be a bright spot for a healthcare industry suffering from unrelenting physician shortages.

The AAMC recently reported that medical school enrollment hit a record high this year. Enrollment for first-year students grew from 20,343 in 2014 to 20,630 in 2015, with the same split between male (42%) and female (48%) students. In fact, enrollment has increased 25% overall since 2002.

Not only that, but applications were at an all-time high this year, too. Total applications rose 6.2% to reach 52,550. The number of first-time applicants, which AAMC calls “an important indicator of interest in medicine,” also grew by 4.8% to 38,460 this year.

However, the need to increase the physician workforce still remains, according to another report released earlier this year from AAMC. The March study noted that the U.S. will probably have a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians by 2025—and while there will be shortages in both primary and specialty care, the specialty care shortage will be “particularly acute.”


What are the Most Hazardous Healthcare Jobs?

It’s common knowledge that nurses and nursing aides suffer a disproportionate amount of on-the-job injuries—often musculoskeletal injuries sustained from moving patients or equipment. But there are other jobs in healthcare that are also hazardous to your health.

Business Insider recently ranked the top 27 jobs that are most damaging to a person’s health, based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety Network database. The dubious award for taking the No. 1 slot on the list goes to dentists, dental surgeons and dental assistants. The top reasons for the selection were a high rate of exposure to contaminants, disease and infections and a lot of time spent sitting.

Providers in the field of anesthesia -- anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologist assistants — took the No. 3 spot on the list. When providing anesthesia, they’re at risk for exposure to disease and infections, contaminants and radiation.